The Topeka Zoo is saddened to report that the staff has made the difficult decision to euthanize Sunda the elephant due to her deteriorating health and quality of life.
On Monday, Sunda was down and unable to get up in her enclosure and had to be lifted up with the help of the Topeka Fire Department. This morning, for the second time, Sunda was down and unable to get up. Sunda has been experiencing health issues and recently underwent a medical procedure to evaluate a sore behind her ear that has been reluctant to heal. She had also been experiencing kidney issues and a mass in her reproductive system.
Biopsies and cultures are still pending from that procedure.
“It is hard to lose any animal, especially one who has been at the zoo for as long as Sunda has,” said Zoo Director Brendan Wiley. “Sunda was a wonderful elephant who has had the longest tenure of any animal at this zoo and has brought happiness to so many people who have come to see her. We will all truly miss her.”
Sunda was 58 years old and has called the Topeka Zoo home for 52 years. The median life expectancy for elephants is approximately 46.9 years.