After 35 Years Apart, Senior Elephant Remembers Her Old Trainer During Emotional Reunion

by Amy Paige
Amy is the Director of Trending Content at LittleThings. After graduating from Florida State University with a creative writing degree, she moved straight to New York City to pursue a career in the arts. She loves discovering and sharing viral videos, watching movies with her Muppet-like poodle mix named Cali, and doing the robot whenever possible.

Back in the ’80s, an Asian elephant named Kirsty was rescued and transported to the now-closed Calderpark Zoo in Scotland.

There, Kirsty formed an instant and incredible bond with her dedicated trainer and zookeeper, Peter Adamson.

The pair spent many years learning from one another and spending precious time together. In 1987, they were sadly split apart when she was relocated to England’s Chester Zoo in 1987.

Peter lost track of Kirsty as the years passed, but he never forgot about her. She missed him desperately, too, but the Chester Zoo is also where she met Judy — Kirsty’s beloved lifelong companion.

Together, Kirsty and Judy were transferred to Dublin and lived there between 1994 and 2005. They were then moved to the Neunkircher Zoo in Germany.

Peter decided he was determined to see Kirsty again, if at all possible. An Asian elephant’s average life span is about 48 years, after all.

He eventually found some information about her whereabouts online and was delighted to learn Kirsty was indeed alive and healthy — and living in Germany where he was slated to vacation.

Staff at the Neunkircher Zoo arranged for their tear-jerking reunion, 35 years in the making.

Peter wasn’t sure that Kirsty, now 52 years old, would even remember him. But he was about to find out if the old saying it true: that elephants never forget.

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