Elderly Elephants Euthanized at SD Zoo

The Asian elephants had been with the San Diego Zoo for years

By Matt Lewis
|  Friday, Jan 6, 2012  |  Updated 9:36 PM PDT
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Elderly Elephants Euthanized at SD Zoo

Two older elephants at the San Diego Zoo had to be euthanized this week, according zoo officials. Mari Payton reports
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Two older elephants at the San Diego Zoo had to be euthanized this week, according zoo officials.

The two Asian elephants, named Cookie and Cha Cha, had been suffering and needed to be put down.

Cha Cha, who was 43 years old was euthanized Wednesday. Keepers had noticed that Cha Cha was having trouble eating and drinking on Christmas morning. After anesthetizing her, veterinarians were able to determine that she had a mass of food material blocking her esophagus but were not able to remove it.

The other elephant, Cookie, estimated to be 56 years old, was euthanized Friday. Zoo animal care staff had worked with Cookie for many months to manage health concerns related to several geriatric conditions. Zoo officials said her condition deteriorated, forcing them to make the difficult decision to euthanize her.

Both of the elephants were at the San Diego Safari Park for decades before being moved to the zoo in 2009.

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