The world’s saddest elephant, dies after 43 years alone in Cordoba zoo

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The world’s saddest elephant, dies after 43 years alone in Cordoba zoo
Flavia was said to suffer from depression. Photo: Pacma

She was known as the “saddest elephant in the world” after living 43 years in solitary confinement at the zoo in Cordoba, southern Spain, and on March 1st she passed away.


Flavia, who was separated from her herd at the age of three and taken to live a life in captivity in Cordoba zoo, had been the subject of multiple campaigns against keeping elephants behind bars.

Said to suffer from a deep depression, she died at the age of 47 after months of deteriorating heath that saw her lose weight.

The Indian elephant was euthanized after collapsing in her enclosure and being unable to get to her feet.

Zoo authorities announced her death “with great sadness” on March 1 and said that her keepers were devastated by the loss.

In a press conference, Amparo Pernichi, the councillor in charge of Environmental issues at Cordoba City Hall called Flavia an icon of the city and said she would be terribly missed.

"Her death is a tremendous blow in general for the zoo family, especially for Fran and Javi who had been her carers in the last moments, and also for Silvia, who took care of her previously.”

"During the last six months, Flavia’s physical condition had deteriorated, but especially so in the last two weeks".

The animal rights party Pacma had been working with the zoo to improve her enclosure and had been lobbying to find her a place at a safari park elsewhere in Europe, somewhere where she could interact with other elephants.

Watch a video Pacma produced about Flavia: 

But it never happened.

Pacma lamented that the pachyderm had suffered “the worst ending” she could have endured and called for an end to keep wild animals isolated in captivity.


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