PORTLAND The Oregon Zoo s famous elephant, Packy, turned 48 on Wednesday and the zoo was throwing its annual party for visitors on Saturday.
The zoo throws a birthday party for Packy every year. This time, the Elephantastic party will be held on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Organizers said visitors can watch special training sessions, play games, get their faces painted and even sample some birthday cake.
Packy will get his special cake at 2 p.m.
The event is free with zoo admission.
Packy was born in 1962
The Oregon Zoo made international news on April 14, 1962, when Packy became the first elephant born in a zoo in the Western Hemisphere in over 44 years.
Packy s dad was wild-born in Cambodia in 1947 and his mother e was also born in the wild - in Bangkok in 1952. Thonglaw died in 1974 and Belle died in 1997.
Packy was born at 5:58 a.m. and the news about the 225-pound baby spread rapidly. Newspapers and radio stations around the world announced the birth to readers and listeners, and LIFE magazine covered the event with an eleven-page spread.
Slideshow: Packy's birthday - then & now
Visitors flocked to the Oregon Zoo to see the new pachyderm and attendance soared, setting an all-time high.
Since then, Packy has grown to become the largest Asian elephant in the United States. He stands 10 6 at the shoulder and weighs approximately 13,500 pounds.
A total of 27 calves have been born at the Oregon Zoo, with fifteen sired by Thonglaw, seven by Packy, one by Tunga and four by Hugo.
Packy is the only second-generation captive bull to breed successfully in world zoo history. Two of his offspring, Sung-Surin and Rama, are still at the Oregon Zoo.