Throwback Thursday – World Elephant Day

It just so happens that World Elephant Day falls on a Throwback Thursday. World Elephant Day is used to celebrate these noble creatures as they are endangered in the wild across Africa and South Asia. Now, how can I tie that in with a Throwback Thursday? Here’s how…

When I was growing up in Cincinnati I loved to visit their world famous zoo. Zoos are controversial among wild animal advocates but they are reforming their caged exhibit mentality and introducing more enlightened thinking about how their charges live and how to still educate the public about creatures they would otherwise not see live and in front of them. Indeed the Cincinnati Zoo has recently broken ground on an entirely new elephant habitat that will give them many more acres to roam.

But when I was growing up there one of my favorite possessions was an elephant key. No, not a key to open an elephant lock, but to unlock narration about all the animals in the zoo. It looked like this…

Most exhibits had a silver box in front of them and if you were lucky enough to have a zoo key (like me) you could insert it into the box, turn it and hear a story about the animal you were looking at. Because it was a speaker just anyone could listen so I would walk through the crowd asking for nickels as I had provided the narration for the people to listen to. No, not really, but it would have helped pay off the cost of the key had I thought of that. Anyway, I was proud to have my key as you can see I wrote my name on the space provided on the other side…

And funny enough I recently received this Tweet that the Zoo Keys is back! Can’t wait to go back to see if my old key works!

As always you can find more at www.walterthinnes.com and on Twitter @walterthinnes

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