San Diego Zoo loses beloved 50-year-old elephant, Ranchipur

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The San Diego Zoo euthanized a 50-year-old elephant Tuesday morning after suffering from age related health issues. Ranchipur, the Asian elephant was reportedly the fourth oldest male elephant in the Western Hemisphere.

The San Diego Zoo staff noticed on Tuesday morning that the elephant was showing signs of weakness and leaning on a tree for extra support. After not responding to the medical treatments given, the staff made a hard decision to put the gentle giant down to relinquish his suffering.

Ranchipur was under close medical care from the zoo for the past couple of years due to geriatric ailments.

An Autopsy is being done to determine the elephants exact cause of death, but the overall analysis was that Ranchipur simply was suffering from age issues. The average age of an elephant in captivity is 42, meaning Ranchipur lived a longer than average, healthy life.

Posted on Facebook by the San Diego Zoo

Ranchipur was a non-breeding elephant and was the second-oldest of the elephants at the zoo, next to 52-year-old Mary. The elephant lived at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park from 1981 to 2009 and was then moved to the Zoo after the Elephant Odyssey was built.

Ranchipur was known to be gentler than the typical bull elephant, and the staff formed a loving bond with the giant. For his birthday, in January, staff built the elephant a giant “50” made out of tree branches and decorated it with banana and hibiscus.

The elephants at the zoo make a memorable experience for us all and Ranchipur will be dearly missed. Watch below to see staff members celebrating Ranchipur’s 50th birthday.


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