A beloved 36-year-old African elephant cow died at the Pretoria Zoo at the weekend. The zoo had two elephants, but is now left with only an elephant bull, 39-year-old Charlie.
“It is with a heavy heart that we inform all our loyal followers of the death of one of our beloved elephants, Landa,” said executive director of the zoo Leslie Mudimeli.
The zoo was still awaiting the post-mortem to determine the cause of death, but it was believed the elephant had acute colic, Pretoria East Rekord reports.
Landa has been part of the Pretoria Zoo family since April 1986.
“She will indeed be missed by all the staff and visitors to the zoo,” Mudimeli said.
The average lifespan of a wild African elephant is 60 to 70 years.
“Female elephants develop a matriarchal system where the oldest and strongest female is the dominant animal,” said Mudimeli.
“Herds usually comprise females, their young and any older animals, males included.”
He added that older males are solitary animals and will seek out females during the mating season.
“There are no immediate plans to acquire another elephant at this stage,” he said.
Landa was monitored by the zoo’s clinical veterinarian as soon as she started showing signs of ill-health. She was under veterinary care at the time of her death.
The time taken for a post-mortem depends on many factors, one of which is the size of the animal.
“In Landa’s case, we will only have a full analysis and report within the next two to three weeks. The post-mortem is also being undertaken by a third-party specialist team,” said Mudimeli.
Republished with permission from Caxton publication Pretoria East Rekord.