St. Louis Zoo celebrates Raja the elephant’s 24th birthday

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - There was a special birthday celebration Tueday at the St. Louis Zoo at Raja the elephant turned 24.

“He was the first Asian elephant born at the Saint Louis Zoo. Every year we celebrate,” said Katie Pilgram-Kloppe of the Saint Louis Zoo.

This year’s celebration featured all Raja’s favorites, like peanuts and popcorn, as well as some surprises; after all, Raja loves a little junk in his trunk.

“We put out some special trees for him. Some nice big trees with root balls. We also put out birthday presents for him,” Pilgram-Kloppe said.

Like any good birthday party, it was a family affair. Raja’s four daughters joined in on the fun, as did his mother.

“Pearl is also here. That’s Raja’s mother. She helps to raise his four daughters. She’s a grandmother here helping to take care of the family group,” said Pilgram-Kloppe.

Researchers say elephants have superb memories, so we’ll assume the humans in attendance won’t be the only ones to fondly remember Raja’s 24th birthday.