My buddy Carol the Asian Elephant

In my home I have an abstract painting signed by the artist. It hangs proudly with a photo of her and I below. We worked on it together–she picked the colors and signed it with her unique signature–the tip of her trunk. The painting was done by Carol, an Asian elephant. Carol was euthanized last week.

Carol was one of the Asian elephants highlighted in my last book. She was quite the character–very smart and very creative. She would often “dink” with the trainers to see how slow she could do a behavior–or alter it with her creative twists–and see if she would still be rewarded.

She would flap her ears and twist her truck tip (much like when people wring their hands) when excited. She was one of my favorite students.

Carol was also a Tonight Show regular and an ambassador for all elephants as she captured the hearts of the public, staff, and anyone she encountered.

There are a lot of comments related to her condition but that is another story…

Here are a few articles:

Carol in LA Times

San Diego Article about Carol

North County Times Article about Carol

Zoological Society of San Diego Elephant Collection

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  1. Cindy Cummings says:

    Hi Diana,
    I also have one of Carol the elephant’s paintings. I was asked by the zoo to paint her foot while she was painting. This was back in 1970 when I was 5 years old. I can still remember that experience…I was so fascinated with that huge lovely creature. My Mom was given a letter from the San Diego Zoo stating that the picture would appear in one of their magazines. I’m sadden to discover that Carol was put to sleep. I often times thought about going back to see if she was still at the zoo…now I wished I had. It’s interesting to learn that there are other people who have Carol’s paintings. The colors on mine are done in yellow and orange.
    Cindy Cummings

  2. Thanks for stopping by Cindy and sharing. I’d love to see the pictures. I let Carol pick the colors of this one. I gave away a few with her footprint painted–I loved working with her–she was very smart and very entertaining.

  3. Taree Hines says:

    I own a painting by Carol Elephant from the San Diego Zoo in 1970. The painting is titled “Campfire” and it has hung in two of my homes. It is a beautiful painting and is a centerpiece where it hangs today. I would love any information you can provide as it was a gift and we only have the plaque on the frame for info. Can you refer me to any websites where I can see her other works of art? Thank you for your consideration.