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Lu was born at the San Diego Zoo 53 years ago. He has been at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park for more than 40 years. When the park was given over the the state, the law said only native animals could be on exhibition there. Lu was scheduled to be sent up north to a zoo. The Citrus County school children protested by sending letters to then Gov. Lawton Chiles. He used his executive power to declare Lu a native of Florida, so Lu got to stay in his home. He has lived many years longer than he would have in the wild, and is quite comfortable in his private habitat. On his birthday, he was given a party with many of the young elementary school children in attendance. Publix Supermarket Bakery baked him a special cake with special ingredients, which he devoured with gusto. Here he is a few days later, eating his daily hay.`
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