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ASHEBORO, NC (AP) — Decades after he helped bring an elephant to the North Carolina Zoo, a Charlotte man has reunited with the pachyderm that was no bigger than a pony when he found it.

The News & Record of Greensboro reports that 85-year-old Angus Mercer went to the zoo near Asheboro with three generations of his family to visit C’sar.

Mercer was the owner of an equipment sales and rental company who was inspired to make the purchase in 1978 by then-Gov. Jim Hunt. The governor was urging businesses to support the new state zoo. Mercer made the four yearly installments of $3,000 to get him.

The last time Mercer saw C’sar was a year after the elephant’s arrival at the zoo, when keepers let the family throw him a birthday party.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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