Watch 6 odd animals try their hand at gymnastics

16 Mar 2016

Sit back and enjoy a few of those rare and wonderful moments when the natural kingdom jumps right into your world of gymnastics, to teach you a thing or two…

Sometimes detailed economic journals are the ideal read. Other times opinion peaces on foreign elections. But sometimes, like just before a few days off work, you just want to be entertained.

So what better than bears, goats, red pandas and elephants mastering an element of the Olympics, just because they can. Sure, finesse is about as rare as failure is common, but isn’t that what competition is all about?

Rhythmic Gymnastics – Ball

For those unaware, rhythmic gymnastics is the odd discipline that sees leotard-clad gymnasts strut their stuff on the floor with things like ribbons or balls. In the animal kingdom, it is no different.

For example, this week a video of bears trying to make sense of balloons was particularly popular on Facebook.

At the Safaripark Beekse Bergen in the Netherlands, a trio of dumfounded bears eventually popped the balloon, thus confusing matters even more than when the pink bubble of air was floating in front of their very eyes.

Style points: 2/6

Rhythmic Gymnastics – Ribbon

Of course there’s more to rhythmic gymnastics than chasing orbs around. What of the ribbons, you ask?

Well, just as enthralling to the animal kingdom it seems, this elephant recently lost its mind playing around with a blue one. Cocking its leg, messing with it on the ground, overall it’s a step up from those pesky bears.

Style points: 5/6

The Beam

The beam stands out as one of the handful of truly iconic Olympic disciplines, alongside the 100m sprint, the triple jump and whatever number of gold medals the best swimmer of the day gets.

So why not add goats to the mix?

Style points: 3/6

The Rings

Chalk up your hands, it’s hang time! The rings usually make the viewer uncomfortable at just how defined gymnasts’ shoulders can become, all while we wait for certain, spinning disaster. Now, though, red pandas have mastered the art.

Style points: 4/6

Parallel bars

To round out the gymnastic events, we come to the parallel bars, with one panda’s recovery from depression the reason this fifth video exists.

Carers at a zoo in China felt their panda was a bit down after her pal was shipped away, so they gave her treats, a TV “to watch Panda shows” and parallel bars.

Excuse the unenthusiastic newsreader, he clearly isn’t a panda enthusiast.

Style points: 1/6

Want to try?

You think you have what it takes to better these gymnasts? Well, it will take quite a lot of practice.

It’s good to start off with a little stretching and some strength exercises. Press ups, sit ups etc. Or, of course, just admit that this walrus will always out-do you.

Style points: 6/6

Main image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic