The fall of man! Elephants beat humans at Coney contest

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In what may have been humanity’s most humbling day since scientists taught a monkey to communicate by sign language, a trio of elephants from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus defeated three legendary human athletes in a hot dog bun-eating contest in Coney Island this afternoon.

The final tally was as humiliating as it was shocking:

Elephants: 505 hot dogs buns in six minutes.

Humans: 147.

After the spectacle was over and the buns were swept away, it fell to International Federation of Competitive Eating President George Shea to put the event in perspective.

“Am I embarrassed for my species?” Shea asked. “Of course I am. This is as dark a day for humanity as the evening of the Hindenberg crash. But this time, my heart is screaming, ‘Oh, the pachydermity! Oh, the pachydermi­ty.’”

Yet it started out so well for the human trio, Eric “Badlands” Booker, Gravy Brown and Juliet Lee. While the humans hurriedly consumed buns, the elephants appeared to be eating at a much more relaxed pace.

“They are eating with leisurely elan!” Shea screamed at the three-minute mark. “Clearly, they do not have the competitive spirit of their human betters!”

But Shea’s hubris quickly crashed down when the buns were added up. Despite a slow, methodical pace, the elephant team of Bunny, 42, Susie, 46, and Minnie, 48, walloped the competition.

Yes, the loss was hard to take, but for Shea, it was a dream come true.

“As you know, I have had two dreams in life,” he said. “One is to see two competitive eaters enter a convenience store and eat it to the ground, with one starting in the chips aisle and the other starting at the Slushies.

“That dream remains unfulfilled.

“But my other dream was to have a sanctioned eating competition between man and another species — and today that dream became a reality,” he said.

The event was a precursor to the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, at noon on July 4, at the corner of Stillwell and Surf avenues in Coney Island. That event — which features only humans, though all eating inhuman quantities of meat, sodium and starch — will feature a rematch between world champion Joey Chestnut and favorite Takeru Kobayashi of Japan.

Gersh Kuntzman is the Editor of The Brooklyn Paper. E-mail Gersh at
Updated 5:13 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Katie from Staten Island says:
RINGLING BROTHERS BEATS ANIMALS! How do you think they got those elephants to eat so many buns? They starved them for awhile. This is the sickest thing that Coney Island could have endorsed.
July 3, 2009, 10:21 pm
Jeny from Upper West Side says:
Elephants don't naturally eat white, processed bread - they naturally eat live vegetation. Of course they don't get that much with Ringling which feeds them the cheapest food possible 90% dry hay. Only for media stunts or public viewings do the elephants get fruit or veggies -- otherwise it's boring dried hay.

Poor elephants and other animals.

When will people start to think outside of themselves and consider the suffering and cruelty they support by promoting circuses?
July 8, 2009, 1:21 am
reality from Coney Island says:
Aw, jeez, sure as night follows day, here come the PeTA drones … you know, there’s a reason the “E” in PeTA is smaller: because they know NOTHING about the ethical treatment of animals.

While Ringling spends millions and millions on animal care and elephant conservation, PeTA killed 95 percent of the dogs and cats in its care last year. During all of 2008, PETA found adoptive homes for just seven pets.

It makes no sense for Ringling to abuse the very assets that make them money. Yet PeTA claims the ethical high ground and spends YOUR donations to slaughter kittens and puppies.

The truth is out there:
July 9, 2009, 5:40 pm
reality too from Bay Ridge says:
What do these animal rights wackos really want? To release these elephants back into an environment where they will starve from the lack of food available in the (ha!) "wild" or get poached by hunters? What a bunch of morons; they're living in a dreamworld that doesn't exist. If they REALLY cared about animals, they'd recognize how well these elephants are taken care of and focus their efforts in places where they're really needed.
July 10, 2009, 7:29 am

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