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Elephant dies in captivity at 62 years old

End of the trail

One of the six elephants at the Phnom Tamao Zoological Park and Wildlife Rescue Centre (PTWRC) in Takeo province died on May 12 of old age and was put to rest yesterday after entertaining zoo visitors for more than 12 years.

The female Asian elephant, Srey Pao – whose name means “youngest daughter” in Khmer – was the oldest elephant at the PTWRC and died at the ripe old age of 62, park officials said.

Asian elephants have a lifespan of about 60 years in the wild.

“Srey Pao died of old age. Her hair went grey and her teeth had already fallen off,” said zoo director Nhek Rattana Pich. “Before her death, she could not stand up by herself for weeks. We helped to treat her with an intravenous drip, but it did not help much because she is very old.”

Since February this year, veterinary staff and mahouts at the zoo had assisted Srey Pao’s movements with a crane.

Wildlife Alliance CEO Suwanna Gauntlett said the animal, which had been mistreated when it was an attraction at a Kandal amusement park, had been a symbol of elephant abuse.

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