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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The staff at Zoo Miami is at a loss for words after an African elephant suddenly died Tuesday afternoon.
Ron Magill, Zoo Miami’s communications director, said it’s unknown what caused “Lisa” to die shortly after lying down on her side in the elephant barn.
The 44-year-old African elephant had been under very close observation since July 12th when keepers found her lying down in the barn, unable to get back up on her own.
Zoo staff said Lisa had begun to resume most normal activity and was eating again, but were reluctant to say Lisa was fully recovered.
Lisa will undergo an extensive necropsy to determine the cause of death.
Zoo Miami welcomed Lisa, along with Cita, from the Virginia Zoo in April of 2016. The two joined longtime Zoo Miami residents Peggy and Mabel. The group, ranging from 40 to nearly 48 years old, was nicknamed the “Golden Girls.”
News of Lisa’s death was hard on the staff of the Virginia Zoo, where Lisa lived for nearly 40 years.
“Our friends at Zoo Miami have provided exceptional care and management of Lisa in her later years. We find comfort in knowing that Cita still has familiar faces and companionship with her keepers and the other two elephants, Peggy and Mabel. This is a great loss to our community and we thank our staff and Zoo Miami staff who played a part in Lisa’s health and welfare. She undoubtedly had a tremendous impact on visitors to the Virginia Zoo as well. Her contribution to the community’s conservation knowledge and appreciation for this amazing species will be cherished.”