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Mar 16,2009
70-year-old elephant dies at Mexican zoo
by UPI

MEXICO CITY -- A septuagenarian pachyderm fell into a pit at Mexico's largest zoo this weekend and died, officials say.

The mayor's office in Mexico City said Sunday that Ranny, age 70, had lost strength in her legs and tumbled into the pit that separated her from the public at Chapultepec Zoo, the Latin American Herald Tribune reported.

The elephant's fatal accident Saturday was a "result of her advanced age," the mayor's office said.

Part of the zoo was closed to visitors while rescue efforts were made. More than 30 veterinarians, biologists and zoo personnel, along with three cranes, were involved in transporting Ranny from the pit to her sleeping quarters, where she died soon after, the newspaper said.

Ranny was about 20 years old when she arrived at the Chapultepec zoo in 1958. Asian elephants live to an average age of between 45 and 65 in captivity, the mayor's office noted.

The Chapultepec zoo has another Asian elephant named Maguie that is about 35 and has lived at the zoo since 2001.

Copyright © 2009, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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