SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Dickerson Park Zoo announced Saturday that Connie the elephant, also known as “Pinky”, has died.
Zookeepers and the public are morning the loss. The Zoo announced in August that Connie’s health was declining due to advancing kidney disease.
The elephant lost a substantial amount of weight recently as her health declined dramatically. After becoming too weak too stand, Connie was humanely euthanized late Friday afternoon in the presence of her daily zookeepers.
Dickerson Park Zoo had been Connie’s home since 1981, when she moved there from Abilene, Texas. Connie was about 50 years old; her age surpassed the life expectancy for an elephant cow by three years. Connie became the matriarch elephant for the Zoo’s herd in 2010, and remained the matriarch through her final days.
An animal autopsy will be performed by the Zoo veterinarian, with help from the animal care staff, a veterinary pathologist, and veterinary students from the University of Missouri. Pathology reports should help further determine the cause of Connie’s death.
“This is a difficult time for our staff,” says Mike Crocker, assistant parks director for the Zoo. “For most of our staff members, Connie has been at the Dickerson Park Zoo for their entire career.”
If you would like to express support to Connie’s zookeepers, you can send an email to email@example.com or visit their Facebook page.