Tuesday, September 2, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Liz, who loves watermelons, celebrates 50 at Six Flags

31 elephant 1

Elephant trainer Andrew Barlow with Liz, an Asian elephant whose 50th birthday was celebrated Friday at Six Flag Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo. Liz had a birthday cake that included 48 watermelons. Birthday events continue through the weekend at the park. (Ryan McCarthy/Daily Republic)

By
From page B4 | May 31, 2014 |

VALLEJO — A 50th birthday party at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom will last through the weekend – but the cake including 50 watermelons, 50 oranges and 12 quarts of strawberries had a shorter life.

Birthday girl Liz, the Asian elephant described as “the lady in charge – our matriarch,” crushed whole watermelons before eating them Friday.

She began the celebration by walking through a paper birthday banner and stomping open two brown packages with French bread inside one box and peanuts in another.

Trainer Andrew Barlow served her ice cream sandwiches after Liz worked her way through the birthday cake prepared by David Zellner, director of In Park Services and the former executive sous chef at the Grand Hyatt Washington, D.C. He has cooked meals for three presidents as well as James Brown, Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali.

But his focus Friday was on Liz.

It took Zellner about an hour to create the cake for the 9,600-pound pachyderm, who also received an elephant-sized birthday card.

Patrick Abtey, assistant supervisor of elephants, said the birthday girl can be playful. She’ll charge out of the pool and run face first into a sand pile, said Abtey, who dubbed the elephant “our matriarch.”

“She’s got some spunk,” he said of Liz.

Abtey told people waiting for her appearance – delayed while park officials stood by for a TV news cameraman to arrive – that it would be fun to see how Liz dealt with the fruit-rich birthday cake. Would she pick at it or take it whole?

The answer seemed something in between as Liz used her trunk to scoop up crushed watermelon.

“That’s what they do to pumpkins, too,” elephant trainer Andrew Barlow said of the stomp-and-scoop dining method.

Concord resident Michele Fravel, at the park with her grandson Dante Freeman, 3, said the family and the others had once participated at Six Flags in a tug of war with Liz.

“The elephant won,” Fravel said.

Median life expectancy for female Asian elephants is about 46 years, park officials said, although Taj from Six Flags died at the age of 71 in 2011.

Suisun City resident Jade Boots, 28, and her son Caden, 2, watched Liz’s birthday celebration as Caden pointed to the animal and announced, “phant.”

“This is a treat for us,” Jade Boots said.

Still, Caden prefers another eating machine at Six Flags to pachyderms.

“He loves the sharks,” mom said of her 2-year-old and his favorite park exhibit.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or rmccarthy@dailyrepublic.net.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Labor Day not a holiday for everyone

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Labor Day breakfast introduces union-backed candidates

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Pool provides last dose of summer fun in the sun

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
SafeQuest schedules peer counseling training course

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

Labor Day sees more Solano freeway crashes

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

VP Biden says workers deserve ‘fair share’

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Obama: ‘Revving’ economy calls for higher wages

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Senegal monitors contacts of 1st Ebola patient

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
San Francisco to be 1st to test urban farming law

By The Associated Press | From Page:

GOP challenger tries novel tactics against Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Texas’ Perry says disparaging tweet unauthorized

By The Associated Press | From Page:

US eating habits improve a bit – except among poor

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
No gray area: Beliefs shape views of Brown killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Iraqi prime minister pledges to root out militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Poland’s PM: Ukraine’s war must be stopped now

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Pro-Russian rebels lower demands in peace talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

US helicopter crashes in Gulf of Aden; all rescued

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Opinion

.

Living

Community Calendar: Sept. 2, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
.

Entertainment

Inquiries begin into nude celebrity photo leaks

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
‘Guardians’ tops Labor Day, summer box office

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Kirk rallies to win the Deutsche Bank

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Rockies top Giants after losing end of suspended game

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Dunn homers in 1st at-bat as A’s top Mariners

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Right guard Boone passes physical, rejoins 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders name rookie Derek Carr as starting QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Armijo beats Vanden 2-0 to claim All-City boys soccer title

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Armed with new deal, Chiefs’ Smith looks forward

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Column: Stewart’s Chase status doesn’t matter

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Raiders ink CB Dowling, 9 others to practice squad

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Serena Williams, Djokovic roll to US Open quarters

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Houston Astros fire manager Bo Porter

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Hamels, 3 Phillies relievers no-hit Braves

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Markets drift as Wall Street has day off

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Austerity debate flares as Europe recovery fades

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Civil disobedience expected in fast-food pay fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Zits Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Blondie Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sudoku Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

B.C. Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Dilbert Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Garfield Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7