As most of you know, Casey LOVES elephants. As luck would have it my mom and John live next door to the head of veterinary affairs for the Houston Zoo. When my mom mentioned how much Casey loves elephants, but that we can’t just take her to a zoo they decided to make some special arrangements.
The zoo opens at 9, but they allowed Casey to come in a back gate (directly in front of the elephant barn) at 8. All of the elephants were in the barn eating breakfast and doing their usual morning routines.
Casey was locked on them as soon as we got her into the barn. She was not scared at all. All of the different elephants had their own little tricks and personalities. One elephant (the tamest) dances and stands on her head. They brought this elephant out of the cage so Casey could be up close, and even pet it.
One elephant would trumpet (not too loudly) on command. The elephants would purr too. I had no idea they purred. It sounded like a motorcycle. One would clank on the chains and make all kinds of noise until she was the center of attention.
At the end of the barn Casey was able to meet Baylor, the baby elephant that was born in May. Baylor is too young to do any tricks yet. It was nice that he was close to eye level with Casey though. I think as cute as Baylor was, Casey seemed much more interested in the big elephants.
The Houston Zoo elephant staff went above and beyond for Casey. She had such a great time. I think (if it’s possible) she may love elephants even more now. Her face was priceless. When the elephants would walk away she would lean forward to follow them.
Thank you so much to everyone that made this special trip happen. My mom and John for getting the plan started. Their neighbor Joe for coordinating all the staff. The elephant team for taking time out of their day for us. And of course Casey, for being so sweet and well behaved the entire time. That is including the trip to and from Houston.
I am sure Casey will be telling all of her friends about this for a long time. As soon as she cuddled up on the couch (where a few stuffed elephants live) she started to tell them all about it. She went on and on for quite a while before she eventually fell asleep.