This is the story of Bubbles and how she came to be Dr. Bhagavan Antle’s "baby".
In 1984 our lives changed forever when a new 350 pound 42 inch tall baby girl came into our lives. This "baby" was Bubbles our African elephant. For an elephant she was very small and helpless. She had a very sad story to tell with a happy ending. Hundreds of thousands of elephants were killed for their ivory tusks between 1970 and 1989, when the slaughter ended because the ban on ivory import was put into effect. Along with the thousands of elephants killed, thousands of babies were left to die. Most of these orphans were either destroyed, since their was no place in Africa to house and care for them, or they starved to death. Bubbles was one of the few lucky ones that were put on a plane and flown to the United States where a handful of animal facilities awaited their arrival.
The decision to care for an elephant was not a light one though, it was a lifelong commitment since elephants live 60 to 100 years, but we decided we were ready. T.I.G.E.R.S. was there when the plane landed and the babies were unloaded. One particularly small girl caught our eye. It was love at first site and we knew that this baby girl had to come home. Bubbles home is at T.I.G.E.R.S. Preserve in Myrtle Beach. What a delight and enormous undertaking Bubbles has been.
Bubbles has become a true member of our family. Out little girl is now 26 years old and over 9 feet tall, weighing almost 4 tons. She loves to go for rides through the countryside, while browsing on greenery, and swimming in the inter coastal waterway which is next to our home. Bubbles has a very affectionate relationship with us since she works very little, unlike a circus elephant. Bubbles has had her moments of fame though. She has starred in Ace Ventura II, Malaika – HBO Special Movie, a Janet Jackson video and even some magazine photo shoots and ads. We would never trade these last 20 happy years; the moments and memories will last a lifetime.
Want to meet Bubbles for yourself? You can at T.I.G.E.R.S. (The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species) This is a one of kind Myrtle Beach Attraction.