By Leonora LaPeter Anton, Times Staff Writer
Posted: Jan 08, 2011 01:34 PM
"Angelica, the pregnant one, is grabbing the lock of her paddock with her trunk. Fortysomething Sid, the diva, is hanging with Aree, the young one who can't concentrate. A few pens over, Mala is ready to make babies, so she's been put together with Romeo.
These are the Asian elephants who were left behind. The ones who didn't make the Greatest Show on Earth, which concludes its stop in Tampa on Sunday.
Thirty-three of Ringling Bros.' Asian elephants live here, off a two-lane road in Polk County, at the Center for Elephant Conservation. The oldest is 66. The youngest, 8 months.
At the circus inside the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa this weekend, amid the splash of lights, the loud music, the glittery costumed performers, the chosen ones will parade trunk-to-tail through the Big Top.
But here, in the winter-drab fields of middle Florida, are those that didn't quite make it — they're too old, too young or too distracted. They are the largest herd of Asian elephants in the western hemisphere."