My dear readers…apparently Elephants can retire too!
AND I am happy to note that these huge, beautiful animals have recently retired from the circus.
No more leg chains and long, nightly train rides in the middle of the night followed by daily performances, and prods with elephant hooks.
You see, The elephants from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus officially retired at their new home in Polk County, Florida. The retirement of these animals came at the request of animal support groups.
The Center for Elephant Conservation welcomed the parade of twenty-one elephants and rewarded them with a huge welcome home buffet! Eleven of these enormous pachyderms are the last of the performing circus elephants. The overall plan is for 39 elephants to retire in Florida, which would be the largest Asian elephant herd in the Western Hemisphere, according to the Center for Elephant Conservation.
I was so happy to hear that there would be lots of food and veterinary care on the 200 acres ….and lots of room for elephants to be elephants, by joining their own social groups while enjoying an abundance of grass and areas to graze. In other words a great retirement home!
Soooo as my thoughts drifted to someone perhaps driving down a country road someday, near the Conservation Center…. and perhaps they would catch a glimpse of an elephant or two. I could imagine their shock at seeing elephants grazing in Florida and it reminded me of a story I wrote not long after I started my Blog several years ago.
The title was “It’s a Jungle out there!” and I would like to share it with you again:
I was stopped at a stop light a couple of days ago and out of the corner of my eye I saw a large object move. I turned to look and saw a man leading a camel. A Camel in Florida?
Really not that unusual, especially since the circus was in town and had set up a huge red and white striped tent in that same pasture beside the road on the outskirts of town.
Have you ever seen something…. which triggered a memory and then you laughed out loud? All by yourself? I do that sometimes!
Well, I laughed out loud at the sight of the Camel! I will tell you the story behind my giggling.
Several years ago, my Oldest Son and daughter-in-law, (love her,… she is a special daughter-in-law)
just thought I would throw that in…you never know who is reading this post! ????
Just kidding! Just bein’ Me!
Seriously, it is all true… My daughter-in-law is special!
Anyway…back to my story! So Oldest Son, daughter-in-law and my First Grandson were traveling from Salina, Kansas to visit me in Kansas City. (See map below for clarification!)
Salina is about 180 miles from KC…which is about a 3 hour drive…give or take a few minutes!
The interstate can be quite boring as the cities and towns are mostly off the highway…so all you see….is pasture after pasture after pasture of flat lands with very few trees.
Well,… it can get monotonous. Really monotonous! I was born and raised in Salina…I know of which I speak…but I still love Kansas!
Believe me, I have traveled that highway many times over the years and I actually looked forward to those annoying orange barrels signifying road work!
the barrels broke the monotony, bringing a little excitement to the landscape!
Yes, it’s that
Back to my story….So Oldest Son, in an effort to help pass the time on ANY long trip has always suggested that the family play a game by looking for animals and birds…with Oldest Son (being the driver) awarding imaginary points to the one acquiring the most sightings.
I never did know what the prize was. It was probably imaginary too! ????
Sooooo as I said, … points were given for the usual Midwest animals like raccoon, coyote, skunk, possum, red-tailed hawk and so on.
(You get the picture).
However, IF it was a rare sighting of an animal or bird …such as an Eagle, a few more points would be added to the person’s tally.
By the way….I hope I remember my facts correctly as I tell this story, …;) … or Oldest Son will let me know! ????
The story goes like this….the trio stopped for gas at a
filling service station just on the outskirts of the Interstate,… in other words it was way off the highway. After leaving the station, they had to motor through a small section of a residential area. They were moving rather slowly and suddenly Daughter-in-Law speaks and she says:
“Do monkeys count?”
Reportedly, … Oldest Son said something to the effect…..
“yes, … if you saw a real monkey!” emphasizing the word “real”.
“I saw a monkey on the front porch of that house back there” Daughter-in-Law said quietly.
“Really?” Oldest Son said incredulously, “A real live monkey??”
“yes,” Daughter-in-Law replied.
So Oldest Son turned the car around and backtracked to Daughter-in-Law’s sighting.
Sure enough! On the front porch of a house sat a monkey! Apparently a pet!
I don’t remember the part of the story regarding: Did the monkey have a leash and collar? But, I do remember that Oldest Son said it was a real monkey!
So Daughter-in-Law was awarded points for the monkey sighting as Oldest Son and 1st Grandson carried on a conversation over how ridiculous and unlikely it was to see a monkey in the middle of Kansas.
Back on the highway, 1st Grandson and Oldest Son kept sighting various animals and birds common to Kansas and accumulating points.
About an hour or so down the highway, Daughter-in-Law spoke again.
“Do camels count?”
“What?” Oldest Son said his voice raising and accenting the end of the “T” in “what”. If you know oldest son, you can almost hear him speaking this word.
Daughter-in-Law pointed to a pasture and said:
“there is a herd of camels in that pasture”
Oldest Son quickly pulled the car to the side of the road and they all stared out at the pasture at ….yep! … a small herd of camels were grazing and walking among the cattle!
Daughter-in-Law was awarded more points…
Later, Oldest Son…being the investigative type of person, found out that the camels had been purchased by the large land owner as a hobby or perhaps it was an effort to see if camels could survive in Kansas.
Sorry, …I don’t remember that part of the story! I have selective Memory… on some things!
However, I would hope the owner would put the camels in heated barns! Those harsh Kansas winters are horrible!
You know me….always thinking of the cold!! ????
And laughing out loud! (My First Grandson would use the acronym LOL!)
I always thought LOL meant love ya lots!