Fundraiser for Shirley the Elephant leads to memorial sculpture

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MONROE, LA (KTVE/KARD) In the 22 years she spent here at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo, Shirley the elephant became a city icon. Even though she has passed away now, the community is keeping her spirit alive.

Lissy Compton and Mr. P’s Tees in Monroe made this happen by selling around 2,000 shirts, raising just over $24,000.

The money raised will go to the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo, as well as the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.

“She was just so impressive, you know, as a little girl, seeing this big huge elephant, and hearing about her story, and so, I just have amazing stories about Shirley. So, it was kind of a no brainer to honor her” Compton said.

There are no more shirts left, but the zoo will still keep Shirley’s memory alive in a way the community can share.

“We’d like to build a memorial for her. I would like to see right along her for Solomon, her keeper for 20 years. He’s still alive, he actually still works here” says Tom Pearson, Director of the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo.

Now it doesn’t look like much now, but an empty plot of land near the entrance of the zoo could be the future site of Shirley’s memorial. Now, specific details of this memorial are still up in the air at this time.

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