TACOMA — An Asian elephant that spent more than 20 years at Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium was euthanized Saturday night after a “severe decline in her health,” zoo officials announced.
Hanoko the elephant was 56, the Tacoma News Tribune reported.
Veterinarians in 2018 diagnosed Hanoko with cancer and with tuberculosis in 2019. She suffered from advanced joint disease and had stopped eating her regular diet, zoo officials said. She showed signs of “significant discomfort” despite pain medication, officials said.
The median life expectancy 47 for females Asian elephants in human care, zoo officials said in the announcement, citing statistics from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.
“With Hanako’s advanced age, significant and chronic medical conditions, and severe decline in health, euthanasia was the humane decision,” said Dr. Karen Wolf, the zoo’s head veterinarian. “Through intensive treatments, we were able to slow the progression of Hanako’s cancer and make her comfortable for a long period of time.”