Oldest elephant at Tennessee sanctuary turning 70
HOHENWALD, Tenn. (AP) — This is a birthday to remember.
News outlets report Shirley the Asian elephant is turning 70 at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee on Friday.
The elephant’s milestone is significant: The average lifespan is 42 years for captive Asian pachyderms and 47 for captive African elephants.
Caregiver Kaitlin Stocks told The Tennessean the 4-ton (3.6-metric-ton) elephant exudes love despite the tough life she has led.
Shirley was born in Sumatra, captured at age 5 and sold to a traveling circus where she performed for more than 20 years. She lived at a Louisiana zoo for 22 years before coming to Tennessee.
The sanctuary is celebrating Shirley’s birthday with #ShirleyTurns70 on social media and an elephant-sized snack: a number 70 made of bamboo strung with flowers and produce.
Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com