Elephant spotted on Ogden Avenue!

     The Ark in the Park: the Story of the Lincoln Park Zoo is full of stories about the inhabitants of the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. One story that really stands out is the one about Judy the elephant. She was sold by the Brookfield Zoo to the Lincoln Park Zoo in 1943. The story about Judy’s move, from pages 76-77 of the book, is quoted below:

     No one had consulted Judy about the move. As Young explained in his report to his boss, Evan Kelly, the director of special services, “a little difficulty was experienced in attempting to truck her.” Translated, this meant that Judy absolutely refused to go into the truck that was supposed to transport her across town. Every effort to induce her to enter failed completely, and in the attempt, Judy managed to destroy the vehicle.
     Since she refused to ride, the zoo officials decided that they had no choice. Judy would have to walk the entire distance. So, at 7:00 p.m. on the appointed day, a caravan consisting of the star player, Judy – all 7,200 pounds of her – her Brookfield and Lincoln Park handlers, a motorcycle police escort, support trucks, and twenty armed attendants began the eighteen-mile trek across town.
     Accompanied by her handlers, Joe Orth and Art Huizinga from Brookfield and Harvey Carlisle and Paul Dittambl from Lincoln Park, the enormous animal rumbled slowly down the streets. She marched down First Avenue in Maywood to Washington Boulevard. At Des Plaines Avenue and Washington Boulevard, she stopped at Bill Higgin’s filling station to water, then continued her journey through River Forest and Oak Park to Garfield Park. At Garfield Park, she rested for two hours and snacked on some hay. Then she continued on, traveling north on Ogden Avenue to Lincoln Park.
     At a quarter past two in the morning, Judy finally arrived at her new home. Her crosstown trek had engendered a great deal of curiosity and publicity throughout Chicago – a fitting debut for the zoo’s newest star.
    ( The Fountaindale Public Library owns this book. To see about availability, please check our online library catalog.)
     I hope you liked this story!
– Bob

One thought on “Elephant spotted on Ogden Avenue!

  1. I loved this story. Paul Dittambl was my grandfather on my mothers side. I remember the opportunity to see several of the animals under his care.

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