From the Dallas Zoo's Facebook Page:
We are heartbroken to share that our elephant matriarch, “Mama,” has died due to age-related health conditions. At 45, Mama was the oldest of our “Golden Girls,” and one of the 10 oldest elephants in the U.S. She had been undergoing dedicated geriatric care for many months, but in recent weeks her health declined and her care evolved to hospice-style efforts to keep her comfortable.
Mama was often called an old soul. This curious mother and grandmother was known for her sweet tooth (favoring sugar cane) and tidy eating habits (she would rake her food into a neat pile and daintily scoop it up). From the time she arrived here in 2010, she was very curious and could be the instigator of mischief. She loved being groomed, especially “pedicures” and being vocal with her herd.
After Mama died, Gypsy, Jenny, Congo and Kamba were given time to say goodbye, during which they gently touched her face with their trunks and trumpeted softly. It’s a very difficult day for our staff, so
please keep us in your thoughts. We welcome your sympathies here on our Facebook page. Our keepers, committed to conservation efforts, ask that anyone wishing to honor Mama donate to the Tarangire Elephant Project, one of our partners helping elephants in Africa. Information can be found at www.wcstanzania.org/tarangire.htm. Donations may be mailed to Mama Elephant Memorial, c/o Dallas Zoo, 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway, Dallas, TX 75203.
The elephant keeper talks will be cancelled today and tomorrow to give the staff time to grieve. Visit our ZooHoo! blog for more information and photos of our sweet Mama: bit.ly/DZMama. Please watch this tribute video we made in her honor.