Riverbanks Zoo Announces Death of Female Elephant

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The Riverbanks Zoo says one of their female African elephants has died. 

The zoo says 37-year-old Penny was humanely euthanized Thursday after she fell on exhibit and was unable to stand.

Penny has been at the zoo since December of 2001 as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) African Elephant Species Survival Plan. 

The zoo says the median life expectancy of female African elephants in AZA managed populations is 38.4 years. Riverbanks is home to two other female African elephants: 47-year-old Robin and 35.5 year-old Belle.

In December of 2016, the Zoo lost another member of its elephant herd, 44-year-old Petunia, because of deteriorating health.

"Penny is loved dearly, and she will be deeply missed especially by our devoted animal care staff," said Satch Krantz, president and CEO of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. "As one of our animal ambassadors for wildlife conservation, Penny helped to educate nearly 16-million guests since arriving at the Zoo more than 15 years ago."

Riverbanks is now awaiting the results of a necropsy. Final results usually take six to eight weeks.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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