There is a photograph in an album somewhere. I can see it so clearly as if I am holding it in my hand. My son, bright, wide eyes and an enormous smile, as he looked up at the largest living animal on the planet. At the age of two he’d flown on a plane, but he could not imagine the grandeur of that experience. However, coming “face to face” with the elephant and waiting in line for our very first ride was an exhilarating moment in time.
I remember that day as if it happened yesterday.
The Santa Ana Zoo, the place you made that very first trip a quarter of a century ago, will no longer offer elephant rides to visitors. Thousands of people enjoyed the rides each year and in the twenty-five years of offering rides at the Zoo there was never a single safety incident involving the elephant rides.
However, we cannot be too safe or adhere to too many rules. There has been a recent safety policy change by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that our little Santa Ana Zoo must adhere to in order to remain accredited.
Hold on to your memories, son, they’re all that’s left you… That and the children’s book you loved so well, Babar! Hold on.