UPDATE: As we all mourn the loss of Watoto, we ask that in lieu of flowers you help us honor Watoto’s memory by joining the 96 Elephants campaign to save African elephants in the wild from extinction. Take the 96 Elephants pledge at www.zoo.org/96elephants to tell state leaders we want an end to ivory sales in Washington. Share this with your friends. Thank you for helping us honor Watoto.
Most days at Woodland Park Zoo are inspired by wonder and happiness given to us by our beautiful animals. Rarely are there days we write with sad news. Today we are unable to find words to make this easier for any of us.
|Watoto, photographed in June 2014. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.|
Earlier today, 45-year-old African elephant Watoto passed away in the care of our veterinary and animal care staff.
Around 7:00 a.m., keepers found Watoto lying in the elephant yard, unable to return to her feet. After multiple attempts to help her stand up, a piece of equipment was brought in to lift her. This attempt also failed.
Woodland Park Zoo’s Animal Health staff was present to assess Watoto’s well-being and provide emergency care. It was determined that her health was quickly declining and that she would likely become more uncomfortable as hours passed. With compassion and sadness, our experts and keepers decided that the most humane course of action was to euthanize her.
Grief for Watoto’s death will be felt far and wide, well beyond zoo grounds, and we will find a way to come together and share our memories as a community.