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Greg Plays (Ice) Ball with Baby Elephant

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It was a warm spring day at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and we were all there to celebrate Bodhi's (the baby elephant) fifth birthday. Bodhi was born and raised in Columbus, OH and every year on his birthday we carve a very special birthday cake out of ice as a gift.

This year Trey Justice and Greg Butauski carved four blocks in one and a half hours for their demonstration. The 500 lb. four layer birthday cake was carved first so all the kids could come by and touch it before it was hauled off by a forklift to present to Bodhi.

After the cake, Greg took requests from the audience for a carving. One kid yelled out, "a peanut!". Then, one of the adults chimed in, "how about Mr. Peanut from the Planters Co.?" I was as excited as they were because it sounded fun - something I would never had thought of myself. So, I carved away until it came time to detail the nut man. There was a long debate as to which eye he wore his patch on. No one knew for sure so we flipped a coin. As it turned out we put it over the wrong eye! Oh well, we had a great time anyway.

Later, Trey worked hard on freezing in some carrots and apples into an ice ball for Bodhi to play with. He kicked the ball around until he realized that the ball had gone just a little too far, right out of his cage. Fortunately for me I was sitting very close as the ball rolled right up to my feet, so I quickly kicked it back in his direction. He then decided that he was not a soccer player and with one steady step he crushed the ball under his gigantic feet! Now he could eat all the goodies inside.

Once all the carrots and apples were gone Bodhi went right for his cake. He used his trunk to flip the cake over and over until he could trap it against the wall and under his feet. Then, he was able to destroyed it by stomping all over each layer. He looked like a kid in a candy store.

Trey and Greg were fortunate enough to have a front row seat. The zoo was kind enough to let us bring in our daughters to see this once in a lifetime show. Below you can see Jerrica Justice (11 years old) and Brynn Butauski (11 months). We hope they will remember this for along time to come, we know we will...

 

April, 2009
by Greg Butauski

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