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PAWS reports death of Asian elephant Wanda at age 57

Wanda, a 57-yea-old Asian elephant, has died at the PAWS ARK 2000 captive wildlife sanctuary, where she spent the last 10 years of her life.
Wanda, a 57-yea-old Asian elephant, has died at the PAWS ARK 2000 captive wildlife sanctuary, where she spent the last 10 years of her life. Photo provided by PAWS.

The Performing Animal Welfare Society has announced the death of Wanda, a 57-year-old Asian elephant, at the ARK 2000 captive wildlife sanctuary in San Andreas.

She was euthanized Wednesday following a long history of arthritis and foot disease, the leading reasons for euthanizing elephants in captivity, according to a PAWS news release. Wanda was among the oldest Asian elephants in North America, PAWS officials said.

“Every elephant at PAWS is special, but Wanda stood out for her adventurous spirit,” PAWS president Ed Stewart said in a written statement. “She will be very much missed. I’m proud we were able to give her a more natural and enriched life at the PAWS sanctuary for nearly 10 years.”

Wanda was born in Asia around 1958. She was captured at a young age to be put on display in the United States. During her lifetime, she was moved from one location to another at least seven times. She was at the Detroit Zoo in 2004 when the zoo decided to end its elephant program for the good of the elephants. The zoo opted to relocate Wanda and fellow Asian elephant Winky to PAWS’ ARK 2000 sanctuary in April 2005. Winky died in 2008.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

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