This is one of the highlights of my life. Hands down. The day I got to wash an elephant named Tombi. For my eighteenth birthday, I decided to take some friends to the zoo, and yes, we were given the opportunity to wash an elephant. If this isn’t on your bucket list…add it. It was so much fun, extremely memorable, and an incredible feelings and sensation. To be right next to and touching something so huge and phenomenal and wild, I cannot explain how wonderful it was. Not only that, how many people can say they have washed one?! The process of setting up an elephant washing was pretty simple, I found out the information online, called, picked my date, and showed up! Yes, we did have to pay, but it was not a ridiculous amount, and it was a once in a lifetime thing. So worth it. Little fact, elephant skin is insanely cool, it’s hairy, coarse, spongy, and tough yet soft all at the same time (like I said hard to explain). After washing our new friend Tombi, we got to meet with the trainers and they showed us just how smart elephants really are. Not to mention how great of balance they have! At one point she stuck her ears out, put her trunk on her head, and balanced on her right front foot and left back foot…all that weight perfectly still. The entire day at the zoo, but especially washing Tombi, will always be one of my favorite memories. I will always marvel at the size and beauty of these creatures, and I will never forget my friend Tombi and the bath I gave her! Most likely, she won’t forget me either since elephants have such a great and complex memory, maybe I will go back soon and say hello(:
I truly recommend finding out if the zoo closest to you has animals you can interact with. Besides washing Tombi, the zoo had dolphin training, painting with penguins, elephants, dolphins, and pinnipeds, (pinnipeds are sea otters, sea lions, etc) and a spend the night adventure! Also, just a side note every zoo I’ve ever visited has the opportunity to feed, giraffes, which is another thing I have done, and absolutely adore, but I will save that experience for another day! How very cool and such an educational yet thrilling experience.
These pictures of are Tombi herself, and are from the zoo’s website. A little sad story with a happy ending that I need to share. Tombi was never able to have babies; the keepers at the zoo said that for awhile she got really sad because all the other elephants had babies that they would take care of and she never could get pregnant. However (here comes the happy ending) one other elephant at the zoo had two babies and it couldn’t focus all it’s time on both. So it let Tombi take care of one, so she “adopted” the little baby elephant and it follows her around everywhere! Ok that’s all, just thought I would share this little love.