Zoo Miami mourns the loss of the “iconic” elephant, which has been a fixture since 1967

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Florida. – Zoo Miami staff euthanized the “iconic” 56-year-old Asian elephant “Dalip” on Thursday afternoon after a series of health problems, officials said.

Dalip, believed to be the country’s oldest bull Asian elephant, was found lying in his habitat unable to get up, zoo spokesman Ron Magill said.

Dalip, whose name means ‘king’ in Hindi, “had lost weight over the preceding months and was showing other signs of declining health related to his advanced age,” he said, and staff noted there was little to none chance of recovery.

“Tears shed as staff who had worked with and known Dalip for many years queued up to say goodbye,” Magill said. “For many, he was not only the patriarch of the zoo’s herd of elephants, but was actually recognized as the patriarch of the entire animal population that calls the zoo home.”

Dalip, who fathered a male calf named Spike in 1980, celebrated his 50th birthday back in 2016.

He was the last Zoo Miami animal to live in the old Crandon Park Zoo on Key Biscayne, the predecessor of today’s Zoo Miami.

He arrived from India as a year-old calf in August 1967, Magill said, as a gift from philanthropist Ralph Scott.

“His loss leaves a huge hole in the hearts of everyone who knew him and he will forever remain an icon in zoo history,” said Magill.

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https://www.local10.com/news/local/2022/11/24/zoo-miami-mourns-loss-of-iconic-elephant-fixture-since-1967/ Zoo Miami mourns the loss of the “iconic” elephant, which has been a fixture since 1967

Sarah Y. Kim

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