Amy the elephant at Fresno Chaffee Zoo dies

Amy the elephant has died at Fresno Chaffee Zoo
Amy the elephant has died at Fresno Chaffee Zoo Special to The Bee

Amy, a 30-year-old African elephant at Fresno Chaffee Zoo, has died.

Zoo officials said Amy was euthanized humanely Monday after nearly two years of medical treatment in an effort to repair a torn ligament in her right elbow. Despite the treatments, her health had declined rapidly.

Amy came to Fresno Chaffee Zoo in May 2015, along with her daughter, Betts, from Riddle’s Elephant & Wildlife Sanctuary in Quitman, Arkansas.

The exact cause of Amy’s ligament tear is unknown.

Dr. Shannon Nodolf, chief veterinary officer at Fresno Chaffee Zoo, said the ligament tear led to severe arthritis that greatly impacted Amy’s mobility.

“Although she had been under active veterinary care, we reached a point where we were unable to stop the progression of her decline and were no longer able to manage her pain,” Nodolf said.

Zoo veterinary and animal care teams are working with pathologists to conduct a necropsy. Tissue samples and other remains will be analyzed. The findings will allow Amy’s veterinary and animal care teams to learn more about her condition and help other elephants in the future.

The zoo remains the home of two African elephants.

A team of Amy’s zookeepers issued a statement: “Amy was an extraordinary animal in every way. She was a very strong-willed elephant and taught us that when you invest the time and patience to build a relationship, it’s always worth it.

“Through her life, she brought joy to so many people, and we were lucky enough to share in that joy for her final years. The elephant house will feel very empty without her big personality in it.”

Robert Rodriguez: 559-441-6327, @FresnoBeeBob