Pretoria zoo elephant dies

2012-04-04 10:11
Pretoria - The first female elephant to give birth at the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria has died, Beeld reported on Wednesday.

Veterinary experts suspected that Pumbi, 27, developed complications from a bout of bronchial pneumonia, the newspaper reported. It died on Tuesday.

Craig Allenby, the zoo's marketing director, said Pumbi was initially treated for a suspected uterine infection, with a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

The elephant then developed breathing difficulties, and lost its appetite, which made it difficult to give it any medication.

"We had to resort to hiding medicine in her treats, and then the weekend's cold, wet weather saw her take a turn for the worse," Dr Ian Espie, the zoo's chief veterinary surgeon told Beeld.

Pumbi was born in the Kruger Park in 1985, and gave birth to a calf, Dineo, in March 2011.

Zoo manager Dr Clifford Nxomani said his staff had tried everything to save Pumbi.

"They even spent nights with her. She will always have a special place in my heart, and I'll remember her every time I walk past her enclosure," he said.
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