The African elephants (Loxondonta africana) of the Toronto Zoo were a sight to behold. The first and only time I saw them in real life was well before they started regularly making the news and before both I and the elephants moved away from Canada.

AAfricanElephants (1)s I sort through myriad digital photos of my life experiences at the onset of owning a digital camera, I see that a lot of things have permanently changed. For better or worse, the Toronto Zoo elephants are in California, with experts in favor of the move. For better, I have broadened my horizons by experiencing the culture and day-to-day life of a country very different from my own.

I’m no expert, but I do know that these elephant photos will forever remind me of the time back in 2006 that my mother and I enjoyed a day at the zoo. A time before I became an “expat,” a word itself tainted by the fact that it is only applied to certain groups of people who depart their home country. A time before the news started talking in earnest about a Sixth Mass Extinction event. What does the future hold for these endangered species? Unfortunately, whatever it is, it holds the same fate for us.

Note: Fondly remembering the elephants was first posted to Medium on December 6, 2015.