Dear Zoo Miami,
I’ve been Lisa and Cita’s neighbor for the past several years. I live behind the Virginia Zoo, and could see them from my front porch.
They’ve been good neighbors, even with the noise of Lisa playing with their huge tire and chains at 3 in the morning. Yesterday I had the unfortunate experience of watching them drive away at the beginning of their voyage to your zoo. I hope they have a good life down there, and that they get along with Peggy and Mabel.
Lisa has been at the Virginia Zoo since 1976, and she brought with her attention to these amazing animals and eventually to their threatened status in the wild. Cita joined us in 2005 after she was done with her lavish lifestyle as a movie star – she was in multiple movies including “The Color Purple” and “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.” She was one of Virginia Zoo’s oldest animals, having been born in 1968. Recently the American Zoo Association has given new guidelines that recommend a minimum of three elephants in an exhibit, which ultimately led to our elephants being moved to your Zoo to live with Mable and Peggy in a larger exhibit.
I will certainly miss seeing them every day after I get home from work. I’ll miss watching Cita stuff hay in between her tusk and her trunk while eating. I’ll miss going on walks with my wife and saying hi to the elephants, who would come over to the fence more often than not to say hi right back to us. I think what I’ll miss the most is coming outside on a nice day and hearing little children joyfully yell “HI ELEPHANT” – if I had a nickel for every time I heard that I could have paid off my mortgage 20 years early.
Has there been any thought about putting in an elephant cam so that we can check on our old neighbors from time to time? Although it’s nice to read news stories about them, some of us would like to see directly how they are doing. I’d also imagine it would be cool for the Virginia Zoo to have a multimedia display about the elephants – having a live feed of them at your zoo would make it that much better.
Thanks for taking them in – please take care of our girls!