Growing up, we, Niki, Vanessa, and Jennifer grew up with and helped raise Mignon inside of our home (until she got too big and was moved to her own palatial barn house). Our mother, Elizabeth, acquired her when she was 2 months old, still a milk baby (Mignon’s mother had been killed in Thailand and Mignon was an orphan). We fell in love and took her in to be raised as a member of our family.
She was Elizabeth’s baby. She sucked her thumb when she wanted to suckle to the point where Elizabeth’s thumb was stretched longer than the other. She learned to rattle her bucket in the house when she needed to go to the bathroom. When she was still young, she started identifying special needs children and would wrap her trunk around them and rock them, intuitively. She also would lay her trunk around pregnant women’s belly’s, like a stethoscope, we assumed she could feel the baby’s heartbeat. Her daily hike through the property included Mignon, a greyhound, a Russian boar, and any other part of the menagerie who was game for a walk on that day.
Mignon was one of us. She was the fourth sister. She fit right in. We loved her so much. Mom made her earmuffs in the winter to protect her delicate skin. And as kids, we loved how she regularly sought out elephant kisses, which included blowing into her trunk and she would gently rumble with delight.
When Mignon was an adolescent, we suffered an unexpected tragedy in our family which created a deep hardship. Luckily, our mother found her a forever home with the Commerford family. They loved her just as much as we did and she became part of their family. Mignon is not the typical elephant. She has been raised by and lived with, two families her whole life. She is deeply loved and respected.
When Mignon moved to her new home her name was shortened to Minnie. Darlene describes life with Minnie now. “These days she is such a joy for us when we come into work every day. She comes and greets us with so much gratitude and love. She purrs and grumbles (signs of affection), ears are flapping, and she hovers over me. She gets her stall cleaned while she is eating all her produce and feed, and when she is done eating she picks up her dish and carries it over to us to put away. She is so intelligent. When she goes out to her play yard she has to pick out her own bale of hay. She is very fussy. You have to bring her to the stack of hay and she will sniff them all until she finds the one she wants. When it is time for her to come in for the night she has to come through a gate. The gate is heavy and it's hard to open. Minnie puts her head between the bars and picks it up and pulls it open. She started doing this all on her own after watching me struggle with it. When I go out to her 6-acre yard with her, she follows me all around and plays on the rocks and tires that we have out there for her. We spoil her as much as our kids. Minnie is a very affectionate elephant. I hug and kiss her all the time and she responds with wrapping her legs around me and purring. Our life would not be complete without her.”
Now she needs our help and we want to provide and care for her. Here she is now, the star of the most important fundraiser of her life.
Covid-19 has affected more than just humans.
It has affected domestic and exotic animals greatly. These animals can never be introduced to the wild and therefore they rely on humans to survive. When humans cannot work, the animals suffer too.
Mignon, herself, has been directly affected and she needs your generous help. Covid-19 has impoverished the farm that supports her. She has been leisurely spending her remaining days on her own 6-acre sanctuary (Now her 6-acre sanctuary is being threatened). Her family is in desperate need of support to maintain the amazing care they provide for Minnie. They need your assistance in order to afford her needs: food, summer shade on her retirement land, maintenance of her housing, utilities, insurance, round the clock companionship and monitoring, and continued veterinary care.
We ask for your support to help Mignon in her much-deserved leisure of her last days. She has given so much and brought so much joy to others during her life. These are critical needs required for her continued health. Your donation to Mignon today is greatly appreciated.
We are the owners of Mignon, and we authorize Dominique Reed, Vanessa Kenney, and Jennifer Ashby to accept donations for the feeding, upkeep, and maintenance of our elephant, Mignon, who was previously owned by The Hammonds (Dominique, Vanessa and Jennifer’s parents). We also authorize them to manage all the funds received in trust for Mignon and make any and all distributions to us for the care of Mignon at such times and amounts in their discretions. We agree to provide any documentation to them to justify any disbursements at their request.
- Cynthia Plankar
- Linda Arnett
- Mary Frakes
- Robin Andrighetti
Fundraising team (3)
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