The Bowmanville Santa Claus parade has always been my favourite. I delightedly took Nolan to see it when he was just a couple months old. It was our first parade together . The second year, we were living in North Bay and had to miss out on the parade here. I bragged to those near me about how much more awesome Bowmanville’s parade always was. I don’t think the people of North Bay appreciated that, but I digress.
Bowmanville’s parades are especially special because of an amazing mammal, Limba. Our pride and joy. There’s a lot of heated debates going on right now about Canada’s oldest elephant, and my stance on it is…grey. As I’ve said time and time again, not everything is black or white. There is a grey area. I tend to think in that grey area.
Limba isn’t “forced” to perform, she loves her walks and she loves seeing new people. She loves the attention of the crowd – and the crowd never swarms or overwhelms her. A safe distance for her comfort is always kept. She isn’t mistreated or abused. She’s loved and well care for. Yes, she’s old – she’s 53! But just because she’s old, doesn’t mean she should be kept in quarantine. Her active lifestyle is what’s kept her healthy this long. Yes, I’m aware that they’ve found a mass on her that may be cancerous, but that doesn’t indicate in any way that she’s being mistreated – animals get sick. Limba will get the best care as always. Plus, it really wouldn’t suit her personality to keep her on “elephant bed rest” (and besides – there’s no such thing). Keeping her active (or as active as possible) makes sense. Moving her anywhere away from what she knows would destroy her. She loves her trainer, she loves Bowmanville, and she is loved.
That being said, I don’t think that any animal should be in captivity, but “rehabilitating them” only works to a certain point. Bowmanville zoo has always provided excellent care and love for all the animals, so I’d never accuse them otherwise. They don’t steal animals from the wild and force them into captivity, they take on animals that have already been in captivity and provide a home and care for them. They’ve been investigated at the outraged cries of activists [not even in Ontario] and nothing’s been found. Ever.
You may not agree with an old elephant taking a stroll in a parade, but it’s something Limba’s done for as many years as I’ve gone to the parade, and it’s also something she enjoys. The Bowmanville Zoo doesn’t over work her and she will get a ton of rest afterwards. It was bittersweet for us all, given Limba’s age and health, and it could very well be the last parade she participates in. The crowd was cheering her on for that. We cheered because we love Limba, she’s been a part of our town and community for so long. She’s a beautiful creature, and the heart of Bowmanville.
As my friend Adair says, think of all the elephants in Africa and India being killed for their ivory, time and time again. Limba is safe and happy, and that should be all the matters – especially for an elderly elephant that loves her town.
Anyway, I know I’ll get some hateraid for this, but I just feel that I had to express my thoughts on the matter, since the opposing side who doesn’t know Limba or our town feels the need to do so every chance they get.
NOW, onto pictures of our time at the parade!
JD, her man and Dustin joined us, as well as my sister’s family and Kyla & her daughter, nephew and her SIL and other nephew too. Nolan had a blast watching the parade – all the costumes, animals, and merriment gave him a permanent smile on his face the whole time. He accepted treats and waved to everyone with a massive grin on his face. Archer’s still a little young and was indifferent, but he loved the marching bands and the animals too.
I was super stoked that Matt got the day off and that we were able to bring Bane with us. He was very well behaved too, which solidifies my position on taking him to community events, as Matt was uncertain he’d behave. He did though, even with a lot of other dogs, some horses, a monkey, camels, and an elephant near by.
After the parade we all went back to my place for pizza.
Then Kim came over in the evening so Matt, my sister and I could all go to Red Lobster. I’d never been before, and it was all Matt and S could talk about all day. I was curious. Oshawa ended up having their parade so the roads were closed, we tried to go to Pickering only that Red Lobster was gone so we came back to Oshawa and walked to the Red Lobster from the mall. The whole process took nearly two hours.
While I enjoyed what I ordered, Matt’s meal made me feel sick. I just can’t handle the smell of seafood, I guess. Ugh. I tried to, I wanted to sample a bit of it but I literally couldn’t even. So gross!
But still a lot of fun!!