taking a break on big cats to give a mention to a few past residents that were standouts for me. writing about the tigers made me remember prince charles, a white tiger that was a zoo resident for many years. i remember him vividly from the time i was in my teens. like most of the past residents i regret that i don't know as much detail about them. ... sabrina the black leopard who was here for years. before moving to the fcc she was housed in one of those horrible old time medium cat cages. thankfully those were demolished many years ago. ... i miss all the elephants and at the time we still had them, unfortunately i didn't know their names. i do now and miss them all. sadly calle and maybelle passed. since one was asian and the other african, that left their companions alone, so tinkerbelle and lulu were moved to the PAWS sanctuary. sadly maybelle has passed since, but you can view photos of lulu and her new friends on the PAWS website. photo of maybelle boo at the zoo 2002 ... since i'm reaching back to my youth, a shout out to the sun bears who used to sit upright on their butts at the edge of the grotto's and give what seemed to be a wave greeting! ... puddles and cuddles the longtime hippo residents. i always thought their pool was too small for their size, but when i found out they were in their 40s, i thought changing their environment might not be the best idea i had originally wished for them. sadly i was semi right as papa puddles didn't survive the move when construction started on their new home. mama cuddles passed last year. they lived a long life and were blessed with many babies, i want to say 14 or so! ... last year we also lost jaho the male mandrill. he was the most beautifully colored animal i have ever seen. the colors on his body were incredible. you couldn't take your eyes off him, even if it sometimes felt wrong to be staring there! a keeper told me that he "loved the ladies" and would wave to female passers by. ... we recently lost gorgeous chamois, the angora goat. she had the sweetest face and most beautiful white coat for living in a barnyard! i brought in this photo of her and the keepers put it in her stall on top of her brush for the week after her passing. ... lastly i'll mention kita, the female african lion. mama to current residents, jahari and kimani. i felt kita's death most as i remembered her arrival here in 1997 with papa tunya and female roommate amanzi. these three came here as cubs and were housed in the space padang now lives in. at the time there wasn't as much barrier and you could basically get as close as the fencing. i used to visit them often and one time i was talking to one and it ran over to a small red ball and batted it with its big cub paw all the way over to where i was standing. it looked at me, then gave the final bat to me. the ball rolled back from the fence in front of me and baby stood there and i know was saying "play with me!" i said, "i would love to play with you (if i could)!" i remember going to the lion house just after jahari and kimani were born to find out kita died soon after giving birth. i felt sick and began a boycott of the zoo for a bit after that, becuz i thought with emotion only (i had no facts) and felt her death could have been prevented. it was only my loss, becuz i missed a major part of getting to watch jahari and kimani grow up. i feel it even more in hindsight now that i love them and knowing the joy i got from seeing the tiger triplets grow. i eventually talked to a keeper and got the facts and her death was not something that could have been prevented. at the time i wondered if kita was my playmate, but have since possibly ID'd as baby tunya!