Do you remember Ivan from his days in the B&I? Did you ever meet Ivan at Zoo Atlanta?
Tell us your story!
Some suggestions of questions to answer about your visit with Ivan:
- Where was Ivan when you saw him? What was he doing?
- What were your feelings when seeing Ivan?
- How did you communicate with Ivan
- What did you learn from your visit with Ivan?
- What would you like others to know about Ivan?
There are so many other memories and space limitations for this writing, I would like to tell you about his eyes. Anybody that has met him will confirm that he could talk through them. His caretakers would sit with him and somehow communicate with him the same way I did. After my Dad, Earl, passed away, Ivan somehow knew this and wouldn't eat. I sat with him for a week holding fingers until he started eating again. I really liked my private time with him.
My Dad would frequently take disabled and very sick children to the window to see Ivan. He would put the child’s hand to the glass and Ivan would touch the child’s hand on the other side of the glass. I know at these moments Ivan was “talking” to the children. The children would come by the bus load just to see him and get their one on one time with him.
When they moved him to Atlanta, I had the opportunity to once again see him, which I did.
Now there's a chance to "bring him home" in an astonishingly beautiful statue that Doug Granum along with the Beloved Ivan Project is creating. And to know that Ivan's ashes are going to be permanently encased in the statue makes it all the more meaningful, and really think this will be an amazing addition to Tacoma, The Zoo, and most importantly, creating an ongoing discussion about the peril the lowland gorilla faces because of poaching and the destruction of their habitat.
Ivan will be an ambassador that will be able to teach the next generation how important these creatures are and what we can do to help save the species.