ethel’s words

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The sad life of Princess Alice comes to mind at the death of battered and abused Misha.

When the Salt Lake City Zoo was in Liberty Park, the elephant was beloved Princess Alice. She was loved by the public but was abused like a wife by her male caregivers.

The big trees in Liberty Park must have been a comfort to her, as trees are to most mammals (and, of course, birds). It was there at Liberty Park that Princess Alice gave birth to Prince Utah--but like most captive-born elephants, Prince Utah died.

My eldest sister visited Princess Alice, to convey her heart-felt sympathy. Decades later, my sister said to me, “I swear, Princess Alice was crying, but I never dared say such a thing to anyone”.

I assured her that she was correct; any scoffers would be wrong. Elephants do weep, shedding tears, and they weep for many of the same reasons humans do.

Later, Princess Alice lived in a concrete cell at Hogle Zoo, chained in eternal misery. Once in a while, the water-loving elephant was hosed off, but her physical misery surely must have been exceeded by her anguish.

Will human cruelty never cease?

Ethel C. Hale