© 2022 Cincinnati Public Radio
Connecting You to a World of Ideas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Celebrate as My-Thai the elephant turns 40

My-Thai, the Cincinnati Zoo's 40-year-old Asian elephant, didn't waste any time knocking her "cake" over and breaking it up. It wasn't long before My-Thai started to devour the cake, brought in by a forklift, and made of frozen gelatin, Kool-aid and mountains of fresh produce and fruit.

Happy reunion

Retired head elephant trainer Cecil Jackson, Sr. hadn't been to the Zoo in more than ten years. Wednesday he was reunited with the elephant he hand-picked at 9-months-old. My-Thai snuggled her trunk on Cecil's lap when his son brought him close in a wheelchair. Current head trainer Cecil Jackson, Jr. says elephants never forget. He reflects on why elephants are so special.

My-Thai's legacy

My-Thai marched on-stage for the opera Aida and in several Findlay Market Opening Day Parades. In addition, she handed out the first pitch on the Cincinnati Reds pitching mound and went to parties at the home of former Reds owner Marge Schott.

Asian elephants can live to be more than 50-years-old. My-Thai is the oldest elephant at the Cincinnati Zoo.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.