A female Asian elephant died at the St. Louis Zoo on Friday soon after a small dog got loose and ran toward her herd.
The elephant, named Rani, died at the age of 27 of a suspected heart attack. The zoo announced her tragic death on Tuesday.
‘We are absolutely devastated. We ask for the community’s thoughts and support during this difficult time,’ zoo Director Michael Macek said in a statement. ‘Our team of professional animal care experts did everything possible, but we couldn’t save Rani.’
Elephant care workers noticed an unleashed small dog running near the Elephant Barn on Friday afternoon and tried to capture it, but a nearby elephant saw the pup and became flustered.
That elephant was moved inside the barn where Rani was eating, completely oblivious to the situation.
Rani, an Asian elephant died on Friday at the age of 27. She appeared to suffer a heart attack and pathologists found that she had preexisting heart issues. An unleashed dog was running around her herd just before she died, but it is unknown if that caused her death
Rani came to the St. Louis Zoo in July 2001 when she was just five years old. She arrived with her mother, Ellie, who is still alive at age 52 and lives in the zoo
Rani was pregnant in 2019 (pictured). She was known for her loud squealing noises that her daughter Jade loves to mimic
Soon after, members of the care team recalled Rani ‘become agitated in reaction to the vocalizations from the herd. They saw Rani circle and vocalize, all within a very brief period, before collapsing,’ the zoo release said.
Though the team attempted to revive Rani, they were unsuccessful. Necropsy results, an autopsy for animals, revealed preexisting changes in her heart.
Further testing has to be performed by zoo pathologists, as they don’t know if those previous issues caused her death.
Present and past members of Elephant Care Team came to Rani’s side after her death to spend some time with her.
The other elephants in the barn calmed down and were also given time with Rani.
Rani came to the St. Louis Zoo in July 2001 when she was just five years old. She arrived with her mother, Ellie, who is still alive at age 52 and lives in the zoo.
Rani left behind a 16-year-old daughter, Jade, who loves to mimic her mother’s unique squealing noises, according to Katie Pilgram-Kloppe, manager of the River’s Edge area of the zoo.
‘Rani was a special member of this elephant family group,’ Pilgram-Kloppe said.
She also loved playing with her two sisters in the zoo.
It is unclear how the dog got into the zoo as service animals are allowed with specific restrictions, but not pets are not allowed.
The dog was handed over to a shelter, the zoo said.
At the time of the dog running around the Elephant Barn, Rani was inside eating her dinner. She didn’t see the dog, but reacted to the startling noises of her herd as they reacted to the small dog running around
Asian elephants can live up to 70 years in the wild and 80 year in captivity. There are currently 40,000-50,000 Asian elephants left on the planet as they are classified as extinct creatures
The St. Louis Zoo said that her move was recommended by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Asian Elephant Species Survival Plan.
The program focuses on managing the Asian elephant population in North America to maximize their health and genetic diversity.
There are currently 40,000-50,000 Asian elephants left on the planet as they are classified as extinct creatures. They have originated from China, India, Malaysia and many other countries.
The average life span for Asian elephants is approximately 70 years, and in captivity they can age up to 80 years, according to Discover Wildlife.
Asian elephants are considered the largest land mammal on the planet.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12647893/Rani-St-Louis-Zoo-died-heart-dog-unleashed.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Female Asian elephant, Rani, dies at St Louis zoo after suffering a HEART ATTACK when small dog got loose and ran into herd’s enclosure