I was rudely awoken this morning by a nagging pain on the left side of my mouth. A rogue brazil nut (apparently encased in a jacket of steel) caused part of my tooth to break off last night. I always knew this healthy eating lark was bad news - chocolate's much safer and ice cream has certainly never led to me losing a body part. Needless to say I was feeling pretty sorry for myself on the way to work, that is until I heard about poor Nissim the elephant. Nissim, a resident at Knowsley Safari Park, suffered damage to his tusks that was so severe a top London dentist had to be drafted in to operate on him. Nissim lost a large part of his tusk trying his luck with some older female elephants (Dumbo springs to mind). As I was reading the story I couldn't help picturing the scene as some kind of elephantine Samson and Delilah, young Nissims strength ripped away from him by his ruthless mistress and as I walked past Solomon J Soloman's depiction of Samson at the top of the stairs at the Walker Art Gallery this morning I almost had to wipe the tear from my eye … or maybe it was just the effects of that darn brazil nut.
Did you know that Knowsley Safari Park was founded by the 13th Earl of Derby - whose collections formed the origins of what is now World Museum Liverpool - and there was an exhibition dedicated to him at the Walker a few years ago.