Jumbo-sized party marks zoo queen’s 40th birthday
HITTING 40 years old is a milestone best marked with a big party.
And for Auckland Zoo’s elephant Kashin, it will be a jumbo-sized occasion.
The Asian elephant is marking her birthday this Sunday with a party at the zoo and everyone is invited.
Kashin and fellow elephant Burma will be painted in traditional Thai style and be treated to elephantsized birthday cakes.
They will then treat guests to an elephant painting demonstration before taking a swim in the hippo pool.
Keeper Andrew Coers says it will be a great celebration for people of all ages.
“Kashin’s like the Queen Mum, the matriarch of the zoo family,” he says.
“For a birthday treat, we’ll be giving her a day off her normal exercise routine and will generally make a big fuss of her and ensure she turns 40 in grand style.”
Kashin was born in 1968 and has been at Auckland Zoo since 1972.
She shares the elephant enclosure with Burma, who is 26 years old.
Mr Coers says elephants can generally live anywhere between 50 and 70 years, but Kashin’s medical conditions, including arthritis and chronic joint problems, cause her trouble.
“Kashin’s definitely slowed down in recent years, but despite her chronic ailments she is still a very active elephant who would put many a couch potato to shame,” he says.
“This is a big time for Kashin and for her to make it to 40 is just great for us.”
Mr Coers has been at the zoo for almost 10 years and enjoys working with the elephants.
“They can be frustrating when they don’t want to do something but they are playful and affectionate creatures and it’s incredible to be around them.”
He encourages people to go along to the zoo to help Kashin celebrate.
“To say you were part of her 40th birthday will be pretty special,” he says.
Kashin’s birthday celebration will run at the zoo from 11am to 2pm on Sunday with a rain date of November 23. Normal zoo admission applies.
Happy birthday: Auckland Zoo’s resident elephant Kashin and keeper Andrew Coers. Kashin’s 40th birthday will be celebrated at the zoo this Sunday.