Children’s book recalls Detroit Zoo’s last elephants

The Detroit Zoo’s last two elephants — Wanda and Winky — made headlines in 2005 when their retirement to a sanctuary in California sparked an international conversation about how elephants fare and sometimes suffer in captivity.

Winky was euthanized in 2008 at age 56 because of arthritis complications, and Wanda met the same fate in 2015 at 57, both dying presumably very happy to have left Michigan winter behind.


Now the two have been immortalized in a new children’s book being launched from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday at Jen’s Gifts of Love, 4280 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield.

Retired Walled Lake Schools teacher and library media specialist Linda McLean, who lives in Commerce Township, will be there with illustrator Susan VanDeventer Warner of Walled Lake to sign their books, priced at $12 each and aimed at ages 5-12.

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