June 10, 2008 in Nation/World

Elephant, 52, dies at zoo

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review
The Spokesman-Review photo

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PHILADELPHIA – Petal, the oldest African elephant in an American zoo, died Monday at age 52.

The elephant, who usually slept standing up, was found lying in her stall by Philadelphia Zoo staff about 7 a.m. Veterinarians were called immediately, but Petal died about two hours later.

A video monitoring system showed that Petal’s right rear leg buckled suddenly Monday morning, causing her to collapse, said Andrew Baker, the zoo’s vice president for animal programs.

Necropsy results are expected in the next few weeks. The animal, which had lived most of her life at the Philadelphia Zoo, had been in excellent health, showing no signs of illness or decline, Baker said.

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