Hyderabad: Rani, the 83-year-old female elephant, and Ayyappa, a 21-year-old male leopard, passed away at the Nehru Zoological Park here. The zoo authorities attributed the deaths to senility.
One of the oldest elephants in captivity in the country, Rani joined the zoo in October 1963, and over the decades has been popular with citizens leading the annual Bonalu and Muharrum processions. For some time, she was suffering from old age related complications and was under regular treatment and supervision of the zoo veterinary staff.
Supportive medicine and special supplements were being provided to Rani, who due to arthritis was not able to lie down and rest like other elephants. The zoo staff created an earthern mound in the enclosure to facilitate the pachyderm to lean and rest. Rani was adopted by Upasana Kamineni Konidela, vice-chairperson, Apollo Foundation & Apollo Life in July last year for a period of one year.
The zoo authorities said that Rani took food till its last day and passed away without any major physical suffering on June 8. A post-mortem revealed indicated old age related multiple organ failure as the cause of the death. The normal life expectancy of an Asiatic elephant in captivity is little beyond 70 years.
The male leopard Ayyappa, born in June 2000, was received here from the SV Zoo Park Tirupati. The feline died on Wednesday due to old age and multiple organ failure, zoo authorities said.