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Traveling trunk: Big wooden elephant arrives at Denver Zoo

What's six feet tall, made of wood and never forgets?

Why, the Denver Zoo's new elephant statute, of course!

Forgive our bad joke. It's Friday afternoon and our brains are mushy. It's true, however, that the zoo has a new wooden elephant statue, which will be on hand tomorrow for the zoo's National Elephant Day celebration, an afternoon of all-things-Asian-elephant that includes a fruit-and-veggie buffet for the zoo's two resident elephants, Mimi and Dolly.

National Elephant Day is based on a Thai festival celebrating the country's national animal. The statue is also from Thailand and was obtained on a recent zoo conservation trip. According to a zoo press release, the statue was carved from a monkey wood tree that was cut down to make a safer roadway. "The statue's wood demonstrates Denver Zoo's commitment to sustainability," the release says, while the statue itself "is meant to help demonstrate that elephants are valued through art and culture."

The statue will eventually grace the zoo's new elephant exhibit, Asian Tropics, which will be capable of housing up to twelve elephants. As many as eight of those elephants could be male, making the Denver Zoo the keeper of the largest herd of bull elephants in the U.S. Read about the challenges -- and smells -- associated with that proposition in the Westword feature "Caution: A Herd of Bull Elephants is Coming to the Denver Zoo."

Now, dear reader, you've read to the end of this blog -- a feat worthy of a prize. To make up for the bad joke we told at the beginning, we'll leave you with a good one.

What's long, brown and sticky?

A stick!

Hey, it's Friday.

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar