Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: November 25, 2022 3:30 pm
Zoo Miami have shared the sad news that North America’s oldest Asiant elephant, Dalip has passed away aged 56. He was humanely euthanized after being found by keepers unable to get up within his enclosure. Keepers at the Florida attraction had been monitoring Dalip in recent months following a decline in his health.
His passing came as specialists prepared to travel to the zoo to provide additional assistance as recent attempts to improve the health of Dalip had seen little success.
When Dalip was found a team made up of staff from the animal science, animal health and maintenance departments worked to try and bring him back to his feet. With no success and tests showing key blood components had elevated to levels incompatible with recovery the decision was made to humanely euthanize Dalip.
At 56 years old Dalip was one of the oldest Asian elephants in North America and is believed to have been the oldest bull. Known by generations he was considered the patriach of the zoo he called home. He was easily recognized from his tusks which often became so long they required trimming to prevent them from reaching the ground.
“We’re heartbroken to say goodbye to our Asian Elephant, Dalip. He served as an ambassador for his species and brought smiles to the faces of Zoo Miami visitors for over four decades,” said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “On this Thanksgiving holiday, we remain grateful to the extraordinary Zoo Miami staff who delivered compassionate care throughout his life.”
The passing of Dalip marks the end of an era being the last animal to have lived at the Crandon Park Zoo on Key Biscayne which served as the predecessor to the Miami Metrozoo (now Zoo Miami). Dalip travelled from India as a 1 year old in August 1967 as a gift from benefactor Ralph Scott.
In 1980 the zoo welcomed the birth of Dalip’s calf Spike.
The smaller of the three elephant species the Asian elephant can still weigh up to 5000kg (11,000lbs)
Image: Courtesy Zoo Miami. Ron Magill.
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