Hyderabad: The Nehru zoo park lost two of its family members due to senility. The iconic female Asiatic elephant Rani (83 years) and male Leopard Ayyappa (21 years) passed away, officials informed.
The zoo remembers Rani as the oldest elephant in captivity. Born on 7th October 1938, Rani was transferred from Bagh-e-Aam (public gardens) Nampally to the zoo park on 1st October 1963. She was a regular feature in the Bonalu and Moharram processions for a long time.
"Rani has been suffering from old age related complications and was under regular treatment. Supportive medicines and special supplements were given regularly to improve her quality of life. However due to arthritis, she was not able to lie down and rest like the other elephants. Therefore, an earthen mount was prepared in its enclosure to facilitate her to lean" said the Zoo authorities.
Elephant Rani loved sugar cane juice, millets, grasses, fruits like bananas. The normal life expectancy is 60 years. However in captivity it is beyond 70. To recall Rani was adopted by Upasana Kamineni- Vice Chairperson of Apollo foundation in July 2020 for a period of one year.
The zoo authorities remember Rani as an extremely polite, cooperative and friendly matriarch to the elephant family in the Zoo. "We always celebrated her birthdays with great zeal. With her demise the zoo park is left with four Asiatic elephants (one male and three females)" officials informed.
According to the Zoo, among Asian Elephants Chengalloor Dakshayani (female 88 years) owned by Travancore Devasworn Board and Lin Wang (male -86 years) Taipei Zoo were the only other elephants that outlived Rani.
Meanwhile, Ayyappa (21years) a male leopard took his last breath in the zoo on 9th June. "He died due to organ failure .The leopard was under the observation of Zoo veterinarians at its enclosure, however he could not survive any longer" officials informed.
The average lifespan of a leopard is 15 years in the wild and 18 years in captivity.