Meet Rosie and Opal
The barn is state of the art. It has a dirt floor which is harder to clean but easier on the elephants. It even has a crane so if one of them goes down, they can be easily lifted. I was surprised to learn that most facilities do not have something like that.
Rosie & Opal have spent most of their lives in the circus. One of the gentleman who started Hope Elephants did what most kids dream of doing - he ran away to the circus and became a juggler. However, he also learned to work with the elephants and began working with Rosie and Opal when they were just calves. He left the circus and became a vet and never forgot about Rosie & Opal.
We are standing in the barn looking out in to the pen.
Our visit there was so much fun. The elephants are getting on in years - they are in their early 40's - and just like many of us, they have some problems getting around. This facility is working with them to keep them limber. Elephant physical therapy if you will....
It was also very educational.
My middle son is holding an elephant molar. It was about 15 pounds!
This was probably one of our favorite field trips to date. And it was just the start of a long day filled with educational opportunities!