Queenie, a famous water-skiing elephant is dead at 59 years old. The Asian elephant was retired to Wild Adventures theme park in Valdosta, Ga., and officials say she was euthanized due to poor health. What a sad ending for the glorious animal.
According to those who had worked with Queenie, she was a natural performer. Isn’t it neat that the water-skiing elephant actually enjoyed what she did so much? How cute it must have been to watch her antics during the 1950s and 1960s.
If you can believe it, Queenie was the pet of Liz Dane. In 1953, the 9-year-old girl begged her father to buy the baby elephant as a pet on a trip to New York City. Amazingly, her father agreed, and they all loaded into a 1953 Mercury for the trip home to New Hampshire. What a strange sight that must have been. Who has an elephant as a pet?
The water-skiing elephant also played the harmonica, which shouldn’t be a surprise given her multiple talents both on land and on the water. Of Queenie, Dane said, “She would stand on the skis at the edge of the water, and then once she got used to that they just slowly started towing the skis out and she just loved it. She would put her trunk in the water and get a big scoop of water and spray it all over the place! I doubt very seriously that you’ll ever see another elephant water ski.”
Did you ever get the chance to see Queenie water ski? Did you even know that this is something that elephants would or could do? Things seem very different now. It’s hard to imagine a little girl with a pet like this.