HAMPTON, Iowa – Fair season is in full swing, and for one county that means an abundance of food, fun and elephant encounters.
The two elephants, Cora and Shannon have been a major hit so far this summer. Owner Bill Morris says, that while these friendly giants have seen their fair share of fairs, each crowd seems more excited than the next to meet these amazing creatures.
They’re amazing, but they’re also rare, and Morris says, “because they’re an endangered species, what [we] have in this country now, that’s all there’s going to be.”
Morris and his elephant Cora met 52 years ago after she was separated from her mother in India.
He tells us that wildlife experts would gather up the elephants that had been separated and left alone, and they would bring them to the U.S.
“They would send them over here and my parents bought her,” he explains as he feeds Cora a carrot, and gives her a pat.
On average, elephants can live to be more than 100 years old, however Morris tells us that because they are now listed on the endangered species list, their time on this earth is limited, and opportunities like this should be taken advantage of.
The elephants will be putting on two shows per day at the Franklin County Fairground. Following each performance, spectators can ride either Cora or Shannon for just $7 per person.