Portlanders say goodbye to Packy - KPTV - FOX 12

Portlanders say goodbye to Packy

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Packy, the elephant Packy, the elephant
A crowd of people gather at the Oregon Zoo to remember Packy. A crowd of people gather at the Oregon Zoo to remember Packy.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Many people in Portland had their chance to say goodbye to a cherished Portland icon and one of the most famous animals in the world.

A touching memorial for Packy the elephant took place on Saturday at the Oregon Zoo.

Attending a memorial for an elephant was a first for most visitors, but everyone agreed that saying their own goodbye was important.

"He looked at me in the eye and that's all it took, I fell in love and wanted to learn more," said one speaker at the memorial.

Emotional words and memories at the ceremony as families and friends paid their respects to a dear old friend.

"Packy is a special elephant, we've been here many times before so we wanted to come and say goodbye,” said visitor Jesse Bearce.

"Packy was just such a big symbol of Portland and brought so many people together, a big sense of community for us here," said visitor Samantha Grafton.

Packy was a member of the community since 1962. He became one of the best-known animals in the world, inspiring books and records. Experts say much of what we now know about elephant care can be traced back to him. That's exactly why a rose ceremony, music and loving memories were shared on Saturday, celebrating Packy's long and meaningful life.

"It's hard to believe he's not here, but that's because he'll always be right here in our hearts," said another visitor.

The 54-year old elephant was recently euthanized after a long battle with Tuberculosis. Packy was the first elephant born in the Western Hemisphere in 44 years.

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