Ambika: Third oldest Asian elephant euthanized at Washington zoo
Washington : Ambika, a 72-year-old elephant, was gifted to the US in 1961 on behalf of children of India. The animal has been 'humanely euthanized' by the veterinarians at a Washington national zoo, said officials on Saturday.
She was estimated to be the third oldest Asian elephant in North American population. She was euthanised at the Smithsonian National Zoo.
"Ambika truly was a giant among our conservation community," said Steven Monfort, John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
In the statement, the zoo authorities notified that she has been humanely euthanized after learning her irreversible decline in health.
"RIP Ambika - a loving gift from India. Elderly Asian Elephant Ambika Dies at Smithsonian's National Zoo | Smithsonian's National Zoo," India's Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu tweeted.
"Beloved Ambika, eldest member of our Asian elephant herd, has died at 72 y.o. It's impossible to quantify the millions of people she inspired to care about conservation in her 59 yrs. at the Zoo. All who knew Ambika loved her. We miss her dearly," the National Zoo said in a tweet.
Ambika was born in India in 1948, she was first captured in the Coorg forest when she was just eight years old. She worked as a logging elephant until 1961, when she was given to the zoo as a gift from the children of India, the zoo said in a statement.
According to zoo authorities, Ambika had undergone treatment for osteoarthritis, a condition that first developed when she was in her late 60s.
Last week the authorities found that she has developed a curve in her right-front leg, disabling her ability to stand.
Given Ambika's extremely old age, decline, physically and socially, and poor long-term prognosis, they felt they had exhausted all treatment options and made the decision to humanely euthanize her, the zoo statement explained.