Louisville Zoo to celebrate elephant's third birthday

The Louisville Zoo will celebrate Scotty the elephant's third birthday Saturday with festivities that include a birthday cake and a gift.

"We like to make this a community celebration," said zoo spokeswoman Kara Bussabarger. "Scotty is a pretty big deal around here, and I think people enjoy seeing him grow up and mark the milestones along with him."

Scotty is an African elephant born at the zoo on March 18, 2007. He was the first elephant to be born during the zoo's 40-year history.

Part of the celebration is weighing and measuring Scotty to track his growth. At birth, Scotty was more than three feet tall and 285 pounds. By his first birthday he had gained 745 pounds, and on his second birthday he weighed 1,800 pounds.

Scotty's mom, Mikki, and his Aunt Punch (who is not blood-related) also will attend the birthday festivities and enjoy the cake. Bussabarger said Scotty and the other elephants will demonstrate some of their training to the public during the celebration.

The birthday cake will stick to the elephant's natural diet. Last year, Scotty's cake was made of timothy hay, apples, carrots and a little whipped cream on top. Bussabarger said the zoo is still working on the concoction for this year.

"We have to make sure Scotty gets cake because his mother really loves food," Bussabarger said.

In addition, Scotty will receive a birthday gift that will provide some kind of enrichment for him. On his second birthday, Scotty received a "boomer ball," a hard plastic ball that Bussabarger said Scotty still plays with.