San Antonio Zoo elephant, among nation’s oldest, dead at 62

SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Zoo said Lucky, an Asian elephant believed to be among the nation’s oldest, has died at age 62.

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According to KENS and KSAT, the Texas attraction shared the sad news in a Facebook post Wednesday.

“Yesterday afternoon, our animal care team had to make the difficult decision to euthanize our beloved Lucky, the Asian elephant,” the post read. “Lucky came to San Antonio Zoo in 1962 and, for generations, inspired tens of millions of visitors to love and appreciate her species. Lucky passed away quietly this morning under the loving care and comfort of her veterinarians and animal care staff.”

The zoo added that Lucky “far outlived the average lifespan of an Asian elephant” – 47.5 years – and was “one of the oldest elephants in the country.” Zookeepers described her personality as “wonderful and warm” and praised her “sweetness, appreciation of affection and gentle demeanor,” according to the Facebook post.

Officials are planning to rehome the zoo’s other Asian elephant, Nicole, so she can continue to live alongside other elephants, the post read. After her departure, officials said they will expand The Savannah, the zoo’s habitat for African species, into the area currently used as an elephant habitat.

“Elephants WILL return to San Antonio Zoo in the future as part of the zoo’s planned expansion with a new, world-class elephant habitat,” the Facebook post read. “Lucky inspired us all to love and appreciate elephants and continue fighting to save them from extinction.”

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources considers Asian elephants endangered. Although population estimates suggest as many as 51,680 Asian elephants remain in the wild, some experts have called those figures doubtful, according to the organization’s website.

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