“Would you like to take Limba for a walk?” Robert, the excellent elephant expert asked me, with a twinkle in his eye.
“Absolutely,” I agreed. After all, Dahling, it’s been ages since I’ve gone for a walk with an elephant!
My day with Limba had already been so much fun: giving her a bath; scrubbing (and scrubbing!) her back; delighting in her glee, as trunk raised high, she reveled in the spray of her shower; laughing heartily as she playfully ‘shook it up’ for a school yard full of guard-down, awed, high school city kids; who wouldn’t want to count such a graceful lady amongst her barnyard friends?
And so we headed out onto the Bowmanville Zoo’s vast acreage of vegetation, Robert, Limba, and myself, sun in our trunks, wind at our back, camera in hand. It was so exciting to be a part of this afternoon amble that I was wishing I’d brought my own trumpet to accompany Limba on a duet.
“Would you like to go for a ride?” Robert, the excellent elephant expert asked me, with a bigger twinkle in his eye.
“Absolutely,” I agreed without a second’s hesitation. After all, Dahling, it’d been ages since I’d rode a 7,800 pound elephant bareback.
“I’ll get Limba to kneel down and then you can climb on,” Robert said, making it sound as easy as eating a watermelon whole.
“Just grab on to Limba’s ears, real hard, and pull yourself up. She won’t feel a thing.”
It wasn’t Limba I was worried about.
Probably tight designer jeans weren’t the best thing to have on whilst trying to straddle the back of an Asian Elephant. Between trying to cleave on to Limba’s ears and cling on to my dignity, I’m quite surprised the excellent elephant expert wasn’t rolling in the hay-like grass.
With gentlemanly courtesy, Robert valiantly gave me a couple of leg ups, a final push, and finally, I was aboard!
How can one describe riding a nine-and-a-half foot, 7,800 pound elephant?
Exhilaratingly Excited, Intrepid, Daring, and a Teensy Weensy bit terrified.
And also, extremely grateful.
At a time when there is so much media hype around what a ‘past best date’ celebrity has to say about the fate of elephants in our country, it is a wonderful thing to know that the Bowmanville Zoo elephants, Limba and Sheeba, are enjoying rich quality of life and consummate care.
“Limba’s my best friend,” Robert states.
Having the opportunity to spend such close up and personal time with Limba has motivated me to learn more about how I too can be a champion for this species of magnificent mammals.
And oh, the next day after my ride?
Picture Gumby after a couple bottles of sparkly and eight or nine shooters.
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