Iconic elephant Packy turns 54 at Oregon Zoo - KPTV - FOX 12

Iconic elephant Packy turns 54 at Oregon Zoo

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Packy the elephant enjoys his 54th birthday cake (Photo: Oregon Zoo) Packy the elephant enjoys his 54th birthday cake (Photo: Oregon Zoo)
Packy's birthday cake was decorated with a variety of fruits and vegetables (Photo: Oregon Zoo) Packy's birthday cake was decorated with a variety of fruits and vegetables (Photo: Oregon Zoo)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Happy birthday, Packy!

The Oregon Zoo's iconic elephant, the oldest male of his species in North America, turned 54 Thursday.

Zoo staff celebrated the occasion by presenting Packy with a 50-pound birthday cake.

The whole wheat cake was frosted with buttercream and decorated with an assortment of fruits and vegetables, including carrots, bananas, apples and sweet potatoes.

PHOTOS: Packy the elephant then and now

Staff say the birthday celebration was a special one because it was Packy's first in the new Elephant Lands habitat, which just opened in December.

“He is the reason for all of this,” said elephant curator Bob Lee. “He is the connection between the old and the new. Packy was the first elephant born here in 1962, and we designed Elephant Lands specifically with him in mind — both as a comfortable home for him to live out his golden years in, and as a legacy to all he has helped us learn about this amazing species.”

Packy's birth in 1962 was the first in the Western Hemisphere in 44 years. He's been a popular resident of the Oregon Zoo ever since.

Opportunities to see the zoo's most famous elephant have been scarce in recent years.

Packy tested positive for tuberculosis in 2013 and even though subsequent tests have been negative, staff have been keeping Packy away from the other elephants and the public.

Staff say treatment of the tuberculosis has been going well and they hope to reunite him with the other elephants by the end of the year.

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