There Are Elephants Buried In The Ark-La-Tex
You read the title correctly. And I'm not talking about figurative elephants. This isn't a metaphor. I'm talking real actual elephants.
And believe it or not, there are THREE elephants buried in the local area!
I'm sure your next question is, "Why?" The best answer is it's easier to bury an elephant where it dies than it is to tote around a dead elephant to find the perfect spot.
The next question is, "How did they get there in the first place?" Three elephants require three different stories.
The first, and probably most famous of the elephants is one that was named Lady Lemah. Lady Lemah was a popular attraction at the Hamel Family Dairy's petting zoo (Lemah is 'Hamel' spelled backwards). Lemah fell ill and died, and the Hamel family had to figure out what to do with a 4000 pound corpse. The farm workers got a piece of heavy machinery and transported Lemah to the back of the dairy at the site of a Civil War fort that had already partially collapsed. They put Lady Lemah in the mound, then toppled the rest of the structure and dirt on top of her body. Now, when you see the mound at Charles and Marie Hamel Park, you'll know there's an elephant under there.
The second elephant buried in Shreveport is from much longer ago. The land on Fairfield Ave. where St. Mark's Cathedral now stands used to be wintering grounds for circuses in the early 20th century. One of the elephants died, and in grand tradition of not wanting to tote around a dead elephant, workers dug a hole and rolled the ole' girl in it. If you attend church at St. Mark's Episcopal, just think...somewhere under you is an elephant...that has a church built on it.
Thirdly, an elephant and her trainer were killed while trying to erect a big-top circus tent in Springhill, LA in April, 1984. The elephant, like all circus elephants, was used to drag the gargantuan poles into position. During the movement, the pole hit some overhead power lines, electrocuting the elephant, named Ellie. When that happened, she fell onto her trainer crushing him to death. As you suspect, they dug a hole and put the elephant in it. We actually have a newspaper article from that day posted on one of our sister station's sites.
So there you go...I bet you never figured that Shreveport would have more than one buried elephant.