Technically you can’t ride exotic animals in most cities. Still, plenty of couples want to bring the world’s largest land mammal in for their big day. Doing so requires patience—and a pile of paperwork.
- Provide the health department with your elephant’s name and age.
- Describe the exact route the animal will march in the city.
- If your elephant is staying over, disclose its address and how it will be put up for the night.
- A month before the wedding, hold a meeting with the health department’s Animal Services Program, Animal Care and Control, and the elephant supplier.
- Provide proof of a “current trunk wash.” (Collecting your elephant’s nasal flora ensures that it’s not infected with tuberculosis, according to a city health investigator, “and possibly contagious.”)
- Furnish a recent health certificate from a licensed vet.
- You already have a federal license to possess wildlife, right?
- Hand over even more documents, including your federal animal-exhibitor license and “chemical immobilization plan.”
- Finally: Hire a police sharpshooter to accompany the elephant during its stay. A stampede is the last thing you want on your wedding day.
This article appears in our September 2015 issue of Washingtonian.