Black Country Bugle
A sad day out at the zoo
IN your issue of 4th August, number 1510, the article and photograph of Meena, the Dudley Zoo elephant, took me back over half a century to a visit I made with my late mother to the zoo in 1968, the year that Meena died.
I would have been just 8 years old at the time. I had been to the zoo several times before and loved to see the animals and especially Meena, although I never had a ride on her – although I did have a camel ride there on one occasion as I recall.
On that day in 1968, I remember we headed towards the elephant enclosure only to be told that it was closed. Someone said to us that Meena had collapsed and that the keepers were trying to help her. Mum and I looked through the glass elephant house windows, and I clearly remember seeing poor Meena on her side on the floor. A keeper who was inside saw us and immediately moved across to block our view. At the time, as a child full
of morbid curiosity, I was a bit miffed at not being able to see what was going on, but now realise that the keeper clearly acted absolutely properly to protect both Meena herself from our prurient interest, and us from seeing something upsetting.
Sadly, Meena was beyond help, and died a little while later. A very sad end for a much-loved animal.
Andrew Cox St Ives Cornwall