Riverbanks Zoo mourns death of beloved African elephant, Penny, 37

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is saddened to announce the death of one of its female African elephants.
37-year-old Penny was humanely euthanized on Thursday, May 4 after she fell on exhibit and was unable to stand.

Riverbanks Zoo photo of its elephants.

Penny arrived at Riverbanks in December of 2001 as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) African Elephant Species Survival Plan (SSP). For nearly 36 years, SSP’s have helped ensure the continued existence of endangered animals through breeding and transfer plans among AZA-accredited institutions.
The Median Life Expectancy of female African elephants in AZA managed populations is 38.4 years. Riverbanks is home to two other female African elephants. Robin is 47-years-old and Belle is 35.5 years-old.
In December of 2016, the Zoo lost another member of its elephant herd, 44-year-old Petunia, because of deteriorating health.
Many AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums like Riverbanks are caring for aging populations because our animals receive the highest standards in care helping them live longer, healthier lives.
“Penny is loved dearly, and she will be deeply missed especially by our devoted animal care staff,” said Satch Krantz, president and CEO of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. “As one of our animal ambassadors for wildlife conservation, Penny helped to educate nearly 16-million guests since arriving at the Zoo more than 15 years ago.”
Riverbanks is now awaiting the results of a necropsy. Final results usually take six to eight weeks.
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