In 1972, Joe Miller was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Tulsa Junior
College .On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with
one leg raised in the air.
The elephant seemed distressed, so Joe approached it very
carefully. He got down on one knee, inspected the
elephants foot, and found a large piece of wood
deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as
he could, Joe worked the wood out with his knife,
after which the elephant gingerly put down its
The elephant turned to Joe, and with a rather curious look on its
face, stared at him for several tense moments. Joe
stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled.
Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.
Joe never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.
Thirty years later, Joe was walking through the Tulsa Zoo with
his family. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the
creatures turned and walked over to near where Joe and his family were standing.
The large bull elephant stared at Joe, lifted its front
foot off the ground, and then put it down.
The elephant did that several times then trumpeted
loudly, all the while staring at the man.
Remembering the encounter in 1972, Joe could not help wondering
if this was the same elephant...Joe summoned
up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made
his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to
the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant
trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of
Joe's legs and slammed him against the railing
killing him instantly.
Probably wasn't the same elephant.