In the zoo of Neunkirchen, in the west of Germany, a reunion took place between a British animal caretaker and the elephant that cared for the man more than 30 years ago. Peter Adams was immediately recognized by Kirsty, a 52-year-old Asian elephant that he cared for in the 1970s and 80s in a meanwhile closed zoo in Glasgow.
Adams, who took care of Kirsty as a zoo worker until 1987, had lost sight of her when she had to be moved from Scotland, but recently discovered that she had moved to Germany 14 years ago. Through friends in the city of Trier, he was able to make contact with German animal keepers and find out where Kirsty was staying.
The elephant, born in 1967, now resides at the Neunkirchen Zoo in Saarland, in western Germany. After Glasgow, she first stayed at Chester Zoo, in the north-west of England, where she met her companion Judy for the first time. The pair later moved to Dublin, where they lived together from 1994 to 2005 until they were eventually shipped to Germany.
“She allowed me to get close, and that was a very emotional experience for me. I will keep that memory in my heart forever”, Peter Adams says.
Elephants never forget anything, the saying goes. In the case of Kirsty, that’s right. The elephant most likely recognized the man by his voice. A video shared yesterday by the zoo shows how Kirsty sniffs at her former caretaker and how the man caresses the animal. “Do I still have the same scent?” Asks the former caregiver.
“She allowed me to get close, and that was a very emotional experience for me. I will keep that memory in my heart forever ”, says an emotional Peter. The former caretaker also said that he will try to visit Kirsty as much as possible, now that he knows where she is staying.