I’m 41 years old today, but when I was a little girl (age 8), I grew up in Tacoma and my mom worked at the B&I and sometimes she would bring me to work and I would see Ivan daily. He was so beautiful and so human-like.
I had a really horrible childhood and I was born with seizures. I also had really bad stomachaches and would cry and be really sad all the time. I would go see Ivan almost everyday all the way till I was 13 years old. One day I was crying and I would stand at the glass and talk to him.
It was like he could feel my emotions.Click To Tweet
I was 13 years old at the time and I put my hand on the glass and he put his hand up to mine. As a tear rolled down my face, I told him I was not going to see him anymore because I was moving to Bellingham, Washington to live with my dad. He held his hand to the glass I walked away and he put his hand up to his eye and made the crying “sign”, wiped his eye, and I said “goodbye. I love you Ivan” and I never had another seizure again.
I moved away and right before he went to the zoo and when I was much older, I came back and once again he put his hand up to glass like he remembered me.
What a remarkable beautiful creature he was. I miss him dearly.
by Jessica Cardinale