Quinsa the Baby Elephant
Born and raised in San Diego in 1956, in many ways our family was typical of that era. The week was routine in it's form: school and work Monday through Friday, play and yardwork on Saturday, Sunday was a day of church, family gathering, respite and family outings. My mother was widowed very young and with three small children. An educator and a patriot, she had a great love of both her country and her adopted city, San Diego. Our Sunday outings included the many San Diego historical landmarks. By far, the most popular as well as the most endeared to our mother, was the San Diego Zoo and, later, the Wild Animal Park. How excited we were when, following church, she steered the car onto the Pacific Coast Highway and took the Old Town exit!
The San Diego Zoo has morphed through the years having the advantage of a team of individuals and a Board of Directors whose vision rightfully earned the Zoo a worldwide reputation of excellence. When I was a girl there was a sea lion exhibit where children could feed the sea lions small fish, bread was tossed to the Himalayan sun bears, peanuts were dispensed for a dime a handful for the elephants or the prarie dogs, and colorful roosters freely roamed the entire property herding hens and clutches of their bright yellow chicks. As noted, the zoo has morphed focused on the health and well being of the animals and habitat.
Our entire family favored the elephant exhibit above all others. Yes, it was so wonderful to interact with the elephants. It was fun to get the dime from our mother, insert it into the gumball style machine, turn the handle and have the peanuts rattle down into the bin. The elephants recognized the action and sound and would stand near the edge of their sandy yard, trunks actively searching and reaching out. Peanuts in hand, we'd walk over and extend our arms anxiously awaiting our turn to be sought out by one of the elephants. Soon, a beautiful elephant would amble over. It was so exciting to watch the elephant seek out the nuts then watch how clever, dexterous, soft and gentle their trunks were as they selected and took a nut to their mouths.
Of course, the most exciting event was when the Zoo had a baby animal and, as far as we were concerned, a baby elephant was most exciting. The San Diego Zoo has a new baby elephant, a beautiful little girl they've named Quinsa. She's been on the cover of their Zoo News magazine and, as expected, is a big hit with everyone: her keepers and her public! I, of course, agree. The birth of Quinsa rings a bell well known and true, warm and full of pride....for the San Diego Zoo and the best of intentions in those people who value the Earth's creatures.
Baby elephant pendant by All Animal Jewelry.