A Big Party For Gunda

Friday, November 16th 2007, 9:38 am
By: News On 6

Oklahoma’s isn’t the only big birthday observed on Friday. At the Tulsa Zoo, Gunda, the Asian elephant, turned 57 years old. The News On 6’s Rick Wells reports Gunda's been at the zoo longer than any other animal, and so they celebrated with a party.

Gunda was the guest of honor at the catered party. Zookeeper Jessica Scallan, who cares for Gunda and Sooky, the other elephant, says Gunda should have some good years left.

“The average life span of an elephant 60 to 65 years. It does vary of course,” said zookeeper Jessica Scallan.

At Friday’s party, there were people watching so, naturally, Gunda had to perform.

Enrichment volunteer Jo Enroe baked the special cake, which was full of elephant friendly ingredients.

“It's apples and oats, oranges and cinnamon. You can tell she liked it 'cause she didn't want to share,” said volunteer Jo Enroe.

Gunda came to Tulsa in 1954 from India. The boat she was on broke down in Bermuda so she did have an unplanned stopover there.

“It's the talk of the island, everyone fell in love with Gunda,” said zookeeper Jessica Scallan.

A lady who lived in Bermuda wrote a book about Gunda.

Normally, Gunda eats prairie hay, but on Friday it was all about the treats for her special day. She feasted on pumpkin, cake, and broccoli. Gunda also loves popcorn, but has to go somewhat easy on the treats. Even if she does weigh 8,000 pounds, she’s still figure conscious.

Watch the video:Zoo Elephant Celebrates 57th Birthday

For more on the Tulsa Zoo, click here.