Locals celebrate the birthday of Shirley the Elephant - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Locals celebrate the birthday of Shirley the Elephant

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - It's a birthday party for a Northeast Louisiana celebrity. Although she has moved away, that's not stopping the party.

Dozens are celebrating the birthday of Shirley the Elephant. Shirley was once a resident in Monroe at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo. She is now 65-year-old. Also taking some time to show the elephant some love from far away, is her former caretaker.

"We have learned," Solomon James said. "We have come close to become good friends. I can tell you write now, it's like having a good friend you meet every morning."

The author of Shirley's Story, Mary Helen Blanchard, is also celebrating the life of the elephant.

"To have so many people say 'we saw Shirley growing up' or 'my parents saw Shirley', it's just a real heart connection we have with her here in Monroe," Blanchard said.

The elephant is now surrounded by other elephants at a sanctuary in Tennessee.

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