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Elephant Deaths at Facilities Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)

The lives of elephants in zoos typically are far shorter than their 70-year life expectancy. More than half of the 76 elephants who have died at AZA-accredited facilities since 2000 never even reached the age of 40.

Following is a list of elephants who have died at AZA-accredited zoos from 2000 to the present (excluding newborns and infants under the age of 2).

Facility Date of Death Elephant Species Cause of Death/Ailments Age
Maryland Zoo March 16, 2014 Dolly African Euthanized due to declining health issues 38 years
Greenville Zoo March 4, 2014 Ladybird African Euthanized after she lay down and was too weak to get back up 43 years
Zoo Miami November 27, 2013 Maude Asian Severe constipation 41 years
Dickerson Park Zoo October 4, 2013 Connie Asian Euthanized after she lay down and was too weak to get back up 49 years
Little Rock Zoo September 9, 2013 Jewel Asian Euthanized after she lay down and was too weak to get back up, later tested positive for TB 62 years
BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo March 31, 2013 Judy Asian Found dead in enclosure 46 years
San Antonio Zoo March 10, 2013 Boo Asian Euthanized because of lymphoma 59 years
Denver Zoo October 9, 2012 Mimi Asian Euthanized after she began having difficulty standing and lost the ability to move her trunk 53 years
San Diego Zoo July 19, 2012 Connie Asian Euthanized after irreversible decline in her health 45 years
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo July 16, 2012 Jo African Euthanized after she lay down and was too weak to get back up 42 years
Zoo Miami July 3, 2012 Machito African Euthanized after lethargy, loss of appetite, weight loss, and labored breathing 31 years
The Dallas Zoo April 13, 2012 Stumpy African Unknown age-related conditions 47 years
Kansas City Zoo
January 24, 2012 Penney African Undetermined, though she suffered from arthritis. 51 years
San Diego Zoo January 4, 2012 Cha Cha Asian Euthanized due to deteriorating health following emergency surgery to remove food blocking her esophagus. 43 years
San Diego Zoo
December 25, 2011 Cookie Asian Euthanized due to apparent complications from severe arthritis despite being on pain medication. 56 years
San Diego Zoo November 17, 2011 Umoya African Found dead with severe injuries believed to have been caused by another elephant. 21 years
Caldwell Zoo July 9, 2011 Chico African Found unresponsive and later died. 46 years
Little Rock Zoo July 5, 2011 Ellen Asian Formerly from the Engesser Circus, zoo officials say she died of a heart attack or stroke. 60 years
Little Rock Zoo May 5, 2011 Mary Asian Formerly from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, she had terminal tumors. 60 years
Virginia Zoo April 26, 2011 Monica African Euthanized because of deteriorating health. 38 years
Columbus Zoo February 16, 2011 Coco Asian Died more than eight hours after being found lying down. 40 years
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom January 18, 2011 Taj Asian Found standing unsteadily and breathing irregularly before lying down and dying. 71 years
Henry Doorly Zoo October 16, 2010 Maliaka African Died a few hours after being found on her side and unable to get back on her feet. 47 years
Wildlife Safari October 6, 2010 Tiki African Unknown. Her health had been declining for several months. 40 years
Dickerson Park Zoo August 4, 2010 C.C. Asian Had recently been treated for problems, including liver damage and a spinal injury, caused by anti-tuberculocidal medications. 61 years
Louisville Zoo May 12, 2010 Scotty African Euthanized because of complications from colic. Necropsy revealed cause of death was endotoxic shock, a common complication of colic. 3 years
Central Florida Zoo March 2, 2010 Mary Asian Age-related illness. 63 years
Brookfield Zoo December 22, 2009 Christy African Euthanized because of kidney failure. 29 years
Nashville Zoo December 17, 2009 Kiba African Euthanized because of degenerative joint disease. 26 years
Buffalo Zoo September 28, 2009 Buki Asian Declining health, loss of appetite, kidneys not functioning properly. 52 years
Brookfield Zoo May 15, 2009 Affie African Heart failure. 39 years
Disney’s Animal Kingdom March 17, 2009 Tumpe African Died after suffering from skin sores and gastrointestinal problems for two months. 24 years
San Diego Wild Animal Park February 25, 2009 Sunita Asian Euthanized because of deteriorating health. 60 years
Houston Zoo November 9, 2008 Mac Asian Herpes Virus 2 years, 8 days
Zoo Atlanta October 27, 2008 Dottie African Acute pneumonia during the third trimester of pregnancy. 26 years
Hogle Zoo September 9, 2008 Misha African Euthanized because of deteriorating health. 27 years
Montgomery Zoo August 16, 2008 Mary African Died just days after giving birth from complications resulting from colic with intestinal rupture. 23 years
Philadelphia Zoo June 9, 2008 Petal African Acute heart and lung failure after she fell on her side while sleeping. Arthritis in her hips, knees, and elbows. 52 years
Dallas Zoo May 12, 2008 KeKe African Euthanized because of congestive heart failure. 39 years
Fort Worth Zoo January 24, 2008 Babe Asian Died while giving birth. 40 years
San Antonio Zoo November 2, 2007 Alport African Died just days after being diagnosed with a serious orthopedic tear. Was struggling to stand or walk. 49 years
Abilene Zoo August 13, 2007 Tanzy African Inability to adequately chew food led to a ruptured gastro-intestinal tract and toxic shock. Suffered from arthritis. 49 years
Birmingham Zoo June 21, 2007 Mona Asian Euthanized after she fell multiple times and was unable to get up. 59 years
San Diego Wild Animal Park June 19, 2007 Carol Asian Euthanized because of degenerative joint disease. 39 years
Woodland Park Zoo June 8, 2007 Hansa Asian Herpes virus. 6 years
Saint Louis Zoo March 14, 2007 Clara Asian Euthanized because of arthritis. The soles of her feet were so eroded that she had to wear sandals. 54 years
Milwaukee County Zoo September 1, 2006 Lucy African Euthanized after she fell multiple times and was unable to get up. 46 years
Oregon Zoo August 2, 2006 Pet Asian Euthanized because of severe arthritis and bone infection. 51 years
Los Angeles Zoo June 10, 2006 Gita Asian Died after collapsing in stall. Suffered from arthritis and foot problems, which resulted in the partial amputation of a toe. 48 years
Knoxville Zoo March 10, 2006 Mamie African Euthanized. Suffered from arthritis and foot problems for at least 15 years. 45 years
Bronx Zoo February 2006 Samuel R. Asian Kidney failure. 14 years
National Zoo January 25, 2006 Toni Asian Euthanized because of chronic arthritis. 40 years
Columbus Zoo August 23, 2005 Ganesh Asian Herpes virus. 7 years
Disney’s Animal Kingdom May 14, 2005 Ibala African Died from severe infection following surgery to remove a dead fetus. 26 years
Lincoln Park Zoo/Hogle Zoo May 1, 2005 Wankie African Collapsed during transport to Hogle Zoo and was euthanized upon arrival. 35 years
San Francisco Zoo March 24, 2005 Tinkerbelle Asian Lived at the San Francisco Zoo for 37 years. The zoo industry delayed her transfer to a sanctuary for nine months. When she finally arrived at the Performing Animal Welfare Society sanctuary, her degenerative joint disease and chronic foot problems were too severe for recovery, and she was euthanized 4 months later. 39 years
Gladys Porter Zoo March 10, 2005 Macho African No information. 41 years
Birmingham Zoo January 31, 2005 Susie Asian No information. 53 years
Lincoln Park Zoo January 17, 2005 Peaches African Euthanized after collapsing in pen. 55 years
Los Angeles Zoo December 14, 2004 Tara African Heart failure after collapsing. Suffered from arthritis. 44 years
Lincoln Park Zoo October 16, 2004 Tatima African Bacterial infection similar to tuberculosis. 35 years
Houston Zoo September 6, 2004 Kimba Asian Herpes virus. 13 years
San Antonio Zoo May 4, 2004 Ginny Asian Euthanized because of severe arthritis and infectious foot ailments. 49 years
Busch Gardens May 2004 Kaba Asian No information. 35 years
San Francisco Zoo April 22, 2004 Maybelle African Heart failure after collapsing. Suffered from arthritis and joint disease. 44 years
Hogle Zoo March 9, 2004 Kali Asian Euthanized after collapsing. Suffered from arthritis. 59 years
San Francisco Zoo March 7, 2004 Calle Asian Euthanized after collapsing. Suffered from degenerative joint disease and a possible relapse of tuberculosis. 37 years
Six Flags Marine World November 5, 2003 Tina Asian Euthanized because of complications of osteomyelitis, severe degenerative joint disease, and chronic foot abscesses. 46 years
Jackson Zoo November 4, 2003 Marrie African Euthanized after a fall. Suffered from arthritis for 20 years. 31 years
Kansas City Zoo November 3, 2003 Dale African Euthanized following illness because of suspected West Nile virus. 25 years
Kansas City Zoo September 24, 2003 Casey African Suffered for years with arthritis and foot infections. 52 years
Brookfield Zoo June 17, 2003 Mame African Euthanized after sustaining severe injuries during an encounter with another elephant. 32 years
Indianapolis Zoo June 3, 2003 Amali African Died two weeks after surgery for an abdominal blockage. 3 years
Rosamond Gifford Zoo April 12, 2003 Preya Asian Herpes virus. 3 years
Busch Gardens February 12, 2003 Sally Asian No information. 36 years
Oregon Zoo January 20, 2003 Hugo Asian No information. 43 years
Dickerson Park Zoo May 22, 2002 Onyx Asian Mesenteric torsion with subsequent intestinal rupture. 38 years
Bronx Zoo May 16, 2002 Tus Asian No information. 49 years
Bronx Zoo October 3, 2002 Grumpy Asian No information. 31 years
Have Trunk Will Travel August 8, 2002 Amos Asian Twisted intestines. 3 years
Dickerson Park Zoo July 17, 2002 Haji Asian Herpes virus. Almost 3 years
North Carolina Zoo October 1, 2002 Nita African Acute infection. 28 years
Point Defiance Zoo November 19, 2002 Cindy Asian Euthanized when unable to stand. Had suffered crippling arthritis. 40 years
River Banks Zoo November 13, 2002 Belinda African No information. 33 years
Six Flags Marine World November 25, 2002 Tika African Euthanized because of abdominal infection caused by decomposing calf in womb. 24 years
El Paso Zoo October 7, 2001 Mona Asian No information. 47 years
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo September 18, 2001 Penny African No information. 47 years
Denver Zoo June 7, 2001 Candy Asian Euthanized. Was unable to stand after being pushed down by another elephant. Suffered from arthritis and degenerative joint disease. 49 years
Oakland Zoo March 11, 2001 Smokey African Chronic wasting disease. 28 years
Hogle Zoo March 5, 2001 Toka Asian Possible cancer. 37 years
Milwaukee Zoo January 16, 2001 Babe African Died after collapsing in stall. 43 years
Six Flags Marine World November 29, 2000 Kala Asian Herpes virus. 2 years
National Zoo August 22, 2000 Nancy African Euthanized once she started refusing medication for bone infection in toe. 46 years
Saint Louis Zoo April 11, 2000 Carolyn Asian Found dead in stall. Necropsy revealed severe pyelonephritis. 32 years
Gladys Porter Zoo March 18, 2000 Louella African No information. 21 years
Houston Zoo January 1, 2000 Singgah Asian Herpes virus. 6 years

Elephants breed poorly in captivity and experience high infant mortality. Following is a list of newborn and infant (under the age of 2) elephant deaths at AZA-accredited facilities from 2000 to the present.

Facility Date of Death Elephant Species Cause of Death/Ailments Age
Memphis Zoo July 8, 2009 Unnamed African The baby stumbled and fell. When the mother, Asali, tried to help the baby stand up, her tusk fatally injured the calf. 2 days
Zoo Atlanta October 27, 2008 Unnamed African Mother Dottie died during the third trimester of her pregnancy.
Montgomery Zoo September 14, 2008 Unnamed African Unknown 5 weeks
San Diego Wild Animal Park February 4, 2008 Unnamed African Euthanized because of malnourishment and staph infection. 9 weeks
Fort Worth Zoo January 24, 2008 Unnamed Asian Babe’s calf died in utero during labor. Full-term calf
Dickerson Park Zoo December 1, 2007 Nisha Asian Herpes virus. 1½ years
Rosamond Gifford Zoo June 8, 2006 Unnamed Asian Romani’s calf died in utero. Full-term calf
Seneca Park Zoo February 7, 2006 Unnamed Asian Genny C’s calf died in utero and was surgically removed. Full-term calf
Saint Louis Zoo November 19, 2005 Unnamed Asian Sri’s calf died in utero. Full-term calf
Rosamond Gifford Zoo August 4, 2005 Kedar Asian Died from complications after falling into a swimming pool. 5 days
Disney’s Animal Kingdom April 23, 2005 Unnamed African Ibala’s baby died in utero. Full-term calf
Houston Zoo April 15, 2005 Bella Asian Euthanized after failed surgery to repair broken leg. 8 months
Houston Zoo December 29, 2003 Unnamed Asian Methai’s full-term calf died one day after birth. 1 day
Fort Worth Zoo September 19, 2003 Unnamed Asian Born 6 months premature to Rasha. Euthanized two days after birth. 2 days
Disney’s Animal Kingdom April 8, 2003 Unnamed African Robin’s calf died in utero. Full-term calf
Six Flags Marine World March 21, 2003 Unnamed African Misha gave birth to a stillborn calf. Full-term calf
Six Flags Marine World October 7, 2002 Unnamed African Tika’s calf died in utero during labor. Full-term calf
Toledo Zoo July 27, 2002 Unnamed African Rafiki gave birth to a stillborn calf. Full-term calf
Fort Worth Zoo March 2002 Unnamed Asian Babe gave birth to a stillborn calf. Full-term calf
Kansas City Zoo September 16, 2001 Unnamed African Lady’s calf died in utero. Full-term calf
Oakland Zoo September 9, 2001 Dohani African Gored to death by her mother. 10 days
Rosamond Gifford Zoo May 6, 2001 Unnamed Asian Targa gave birth to a stillborn calf. Full-term calf
Dickerson Park Zoo April 12, 2000 Pete Asian Vicky’s calf died eight hours after birth. Full-term calf

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