Before we moved to Clarington we had the pleasure of visiting the Bowmanville Zoo a few times. As residents, we had annual passes. This is Canada’s last private zoo. The staff and owners are members of the community and they support it by participating in events, fairs, parades and fundraisers.
When playing soccer we could hear the lions roaring. Driving home sometimes we’d pass the woods next to the zoo and see the wolves or the camels out for a walk.
The most exciting times for us, as a family, occurred when we’d come across Limba the Asian elephant strolling up our street or in town. She would stop by the local business for a head of lettuce, some apples, a handful of jelly beans or just a sniff of the trunk. She walked many kilometres a day on roads, ravines, forests and farmers fields. Limba had so many friends.
My family was able to spend time getting to know Limba at the zoo, from visits at our French Immersion school, (where the zoo director’s children attended as well,) at events and around town.
50 year old Limba and her soul mate and caregiver Robert Crawford, were fixtures around here for a long time. As a matter of fact, in the middle of last year the city of Clarington was looking into putting up signs that we were an elephant friendly town.
Sadly, we received news that Limba was sick in the fall of 2013. It turned out she had very nasty cancer. Our poor girl began to fade a little more each day. She lost the battle on December 3, 2013. The largest heart in Bowmanville was not beating any more.
It broke my heart.
On December 18, 2013, Limba was named an Honourary Citizen of Clarington by the town council.
Many of Limba’s talented friends put together tribute videos honouring her life. Here is one of them:
If you are interested in seeing more stories about Limba, please check out her Facebook page: We-Love-Limba-the-Elephant.
Here is my tribute to my favourite elie of all time:
In early 2015 a documentary will be complete looking at the special relationship this beautiful pachyderm and her best friend Robert. Here is the teaser: