Zoo throws party for Packy's 50th Birthday

Zoo throws party for Packy's 50th Birthday

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by Associated Press

kgw.com

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 14 at 8:21 PM

PORTLAND -- Sure Seattle's Space Needle is turning 50 this year, but for folks who lived in Portland, a signature event of 1962 was the birth of Packy the elephant at the Oregon Zoo.

The zoo is planning a big party this Saturday to celebrate the event, complete with cake -- for people and the birthday boy -- music, games and even a "Packy Poetry" contest.

Photos: Packy through the years

When he was born to Belle on April 14, 1962, the zoo says Packy was the first Asian elephant to be born in the Western hemisphere in 44 years.

Weighing in at a relatively cuddly 225 pounds at birth, Packy now tips the scales at 12,500 pounds. He stands more than 10 feet tall and has sired seven calves of his own.

The Oregon Zoo is designing a new Asian elephant habitat that will give the animals more choices about where and how they spend their time.

More: Packy the Oregon Zoo elephant star of book

Party schedule:

9 a.m. — Zoo gates open.

10 a.m. — Packy’s party begins, with live music, games and activities throughout the day.

12 p.m. — Cake is served to partygoers, courtesy of Lamb’s Wilsonville Market.

1:45 p.m. — Competition winners parade Packy’s cake to the elephant exhibit.

2 p.m. — The big moment! Packy chows down on his cake and gets knighted by the Royal Rosarians.

4 p.m. — Packy’s party ends and zoo gates close (grounds remain open one hour after gates close).

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