The Toledo Zoo will place an inscribed memorial bench in its new elephant facility as a tribute to the 6-year-old Temperance boy who recently died after visiting the Zoo. The wrought iron bench will be inscribed with a commemorative plaque and will be located in Phase 2 of the new facility, which is scheduled to open in late spring, 2012, zoo officials announced Tuesday.
Nicholas Allore collapsed and later died June 9, shortly after getting to see the new African elephant during a field trip with his kindergarten class. Early ideas for a tribute — which came in from family, friends and members of the public in the form of a Facebook campaign —included the possibility of naming the new calf after Nicholas, but the boy’s parents preferred the option of a commemorative bench.
“His parents told us they can envision coming to the Zoo and resting on Nicholas’ bench while watching the elephants and remembering their son,” said Anne Baker, the zoo’s executive director. “While this tribute could not come under sadder circumstances, we hope to provide a special place where Nicholas’ family and loved ones can share happy memories of a young boy who was taken much too soon.”
The contest to name the elephant continues through June 27 at toledozoo.org/babyname.
The Toledo Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.