Cheyenne Mountain Zoo African Elephant, Missy, Turns 50

June 26, 2019

One of the oldest elephants in the U.S. becomes a true “Golden Girl”

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is inviting media and the public to celebrate our oldest resident’s 50th birthday. Children’s Hospital Colorado is presenting the birthday party for Missy, a female African elephant, who will have the opportunity to participate in special birthday enrichment activities, including an elephant-sized birthday cake. Guests can take free photos in our elephant-themed photo booth, learn about Missy and the CMZoo African elephant herd of six aging females during a keeper demonstration, participate in paid feeding opportunities with Missy, and more.

Missy has surpassed the median life expectancy (MLE) for her fellow female African elephants living in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. At 50, she has surpassed the MLE by about 12 years, and it’s possible that she could continue to thrive for many more years. Missy is in good health, and is one of the fastest power-walkers in the herd. Her keepers describe her as, “patient but demanding, kind of like you’d expect a ‘Golden Girl’ to be.” She is one of the oldest African elephants currently living in the U.S.

WHO – Missy, CMZoo African elephant
CMZoo guests, members and staff
Children’s Hospital Colorado

WHAT – A birthday party to celebrate Missy’s 50th birthday

WHERE – Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Encounter Africa Exhibit

WHEN – Sunday, June 30, 2019
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

(Subject to Missy’s choice to participate or not)

10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Write a “Message to Missy,” take a free photo with elephant-themed props at Children’s Hospital Colorado’s photo booth, and learn about African elephants from our CMZoo Docents with elephant biofacts.

10:10 a.m.
Missy and her best friend, LouLou, have the opportunity to enjoy special birthday enrichment activities in the main elephant yard.

10:45 a.m.
Keepers Caring for Elephants Demonstration

11 to 11:30 a.m.
Elephant Feeding Opportunities with Missy
($10 to $15 per feeding)

11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Join us in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Missy, as she enjoys an elephant-sized birthday cake, made with her favorite snacks.


About Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society was founded in 1926. Today, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s mountain Zoo, offers comprehensive education programs, exciting conservation efforts and truly fantastic animal experiences. In 2019, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was voted #6 Best Zoo in North America and CMZoo’s Rocky Mountain Wild was named #5 Best Zoo Exhibit in North America by USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. It is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s goal to help guests fall in love with animals and nature, and take action to protect them. Of the 233 zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of just a few operating without tax support. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo depends on admissions, membership dues, special event attendance and donations for funding.