Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Pachyderm Packs Her Trunk, Heads Home

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Ruby the African elephant is back in LA after an unsuccessful attempt to exile her to the Knoxville Zoo, where she was to join a breeding herd of elephants.

Apparently, the peripatetic pachyderm found Red State living not to her liking, and never fully integrated with the new herd. Zookeepers speculated that she missed her longtime companion Gita, a female Asian elephant with whom Ruby had cohabitated with for a number of years.

When LA city officials discovered that Ruby was "off her feed" (as they say in Tennessee, and other points south), arrangements were made to return the pining Proboscidea to her home at the LA Zoo, where she will be reunited with Gita after a cross-country drive via semi truck. Sources characterized Knoxville Zoo officials as "relieved", since they had become increasingly uncomfortable with speculation over the nature of Ruby's relationship with Gita.

Support for LAist comes from

When reached for comment during a stopover just outside of Tucumcari, NM, Ruby issued a brief statement on her sojurn south of the Mason-Dixon line, as well as her pending reunion with Gita:

"About the best thing I can say about the whole experience is that I discovered cheese grits, which are right up there with roasted peanuts in the shell, taste-wise. Hopefully, I will be able to find good Southern-style grits in LA. As for my reunion with Gita, I would ask the public, and especially the press, to respect our privacy during this emotional time of rediscovery and reconnection. Thank you."

Zoo officials say that once Ruby is safely through a mandatory 30-day quarantine, she will be free to rejoin Gita and the couple's two cats in their small bungalow in the foothills of the zoo property.

Said one zookeeper, "We're just glad she's home."

Most Read