Fans of Curious Nashville have asked us several wonderful and weird questions about animals, and we’ve answered a few. But until now, that reporting hasn’t appeared in our podcast — and some of the facts and quirky details had to be trimmed out of the stories when they aired on the radio.
So in this special roundup, we’re delivering three animal questions and answers: a tall tale about piranhas, the history (and demise) of Nashville’s first zoo and the reason that a big pink elephant has become well known in West Nashville.
Episode credits: The executive producer of Curious Nashville is Tony Gonzalez, and this episode was edited by Emily Siner and Anita Bugg, with audio mastering by Carl Pedersen and web production by Mack Linebaugh. The theme music is by Podington Bear.
Listen to the full episode above, and view additional photos for each story at the links below.
Some urban legends are almost too fun to debunk. And thanks to local fishermen, the idea that there are piranhas in local waters resurfaces periodically. The rumor dates back to the flood of 2010, when the story began to spread that piranhas escaped from an aquarium at Opry Mills Mall.
While it may seem far-fetched to anyone living today in suburban Green Hills, that was the location of Nashville’s first zoo and theme park more than 100 years ago. Curious Nashville explains why it was there, why it went away and how a few remnants are still visible today.
A pink elephant would be hard pressed to go unnoticed. But why has one stood outside a Charlotte Pike used car lot since the 1980s? And did you know — it’s actually the second such elephant that still stands there today, brought back by popular demand.