Elderly elephant dies after confrontation at Miami zoo

Credit: Sarahshowell/Pixabay

Credit: Sarahshowell/Pixabay

Zoo officials in Miami are mourning the death of a 51-year-old female African elephant that died Friday after a confrontation with another elephant, WFOR reported.

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Cita, one of Zoo Miami's "Golden Girls," died after an incident with another African elephant, named Peggy, on Friday, zoo spokesman Ron Magill told the Sun-Sentinel.

Cita weighed 7,500 pounds. She was knocked down by the other elephant and “was unable to recover,’’ Magill told the newspaper.

Results of a necropsy will not be known for several weeks, but zoo officials believe a blot clot was a contributing factor toward Cita's death, the Miami Herald reported.

Cita's issues included a "general loss of body condition, muscle wasting and advanced arthritis," according to the Sun-Sentinel. Zoo officials believe that might have contributed to the elephant's inability to get up during the confrontation, Magill told the newspaper, adding that Peggy may have been reinforcing dominance over Cita.

Cita came to Zoo Miami from the Virginia Zoo in April 2016, WFOR reported.

"This is a very difficult time for the Zoo Miami family, as well as the staff and volunteers at the Virginia Zoo where Cita had lived for decades,'' Magill told the Sun-Sentinel. "This is especially difficult for the elephant keepers who have a very special bond with these magnificent and charismatic animals that they so passionately dedicate themselves to caring for."

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