Last Elephant at Chicago Zoo Dies En Route to Utah

Last Elephant at Chicago Zoo Dies En Route to Utah

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CHICAGO (AP) -- Officials say the sole remaining elephant at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo died today just hours after it arrived at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City.

Lincoln Park Zoo spokeswoman Kelly McGrath says the 36-year-old African elephant named Wankie was euthanized early this morning after suffering severe breathing problems.

She says the cause of the female elephant's illness has not been determined. But she says an autopsy is being conducted tonight on the animal.

The two other elephants at the Lincoln Park Zoo -- Peaches and Tatima -- died within the last seven months. McGrath says the deaths of the three elephants were in no way related.

She says Wankie was being moved to another zoo because there were no elephants left at the Chicago zoo and the African elephants require companionship.

Hogle Zoo spokeswoman Stacey Phillips confirmed the elephant died at 4 a.m., but referred other questions to the San Diego Zoo, which owned the elephant.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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