Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Enthusiast Mourns Loss of Kumba

Kenosha, WI: Coaster enthusiast Gerald Unternehmen posted a loving testimony on several enthusiast message boards yesterday:

Kumba, we will miss you. I'm sure that the decision Busch Gardens and B&M made to euthanize you was a hard one to make – but it was, sadly, to end your suffering.

Though your name means "roar" in the African Congo language, you were a shy, quiet steel coaster. As the city's first coaster born in captivity, you showed the world that coasters did not have to be captured in the wild and caged in theme parks – that they could successfully be born and raised out of the wild.

Oh, Kumba! How your children, the mighty Kowali, and your namesake living in Israel, will mourn you and honor your memory. You will live on in all of us!

No less than 10 minutes after this moving tribute, enthusiasts were flooding Busch Gardens' telephone lines, demanding to know why Kumba's kidney failure was kept a secret for so many months.


[Editor's Note: For additional coverage of Kumba's untimely passing, and some thoughts from the ride's close colleagues Gwazi and Montu, please read here.]