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Japan's oldest female elephant dies at 59 in Hokkaido

The Indian elephant Nana, who died on March 4, 2020, is seen. (Photo courtesy of the Obihiro Zoo)

OBIHIRO, Hokkaido -- A zoo here in Japan's northernmost prefecture announced on March 5 that 59-year-old Indian elephant Nana, the oldest female elephant in the country who couldn't stand since January, died on the night of March 4.

According to the municipal Obihiro Zoo, Nana became unable to stay up on her own four legs on Jan. 19 and had been growing weak while lying on the floor of the elephant enclosure. The age of 59 for an elephant is the equivalent of over 90 for human beings. Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine will perform an autopsy to determine her exact cause of death.

Nana was born in India in 1961 and was sent to Obihiro Zoo in April 1964. She had been a popular attraction at the facility for more than half a century.

Zoo director Kazutoshi Yuzuhara, said, "Nana was a symbolic member who had supported the zoo for a long time. She was very important for local citizens."

(Japanese original by Hitoshi Suzuki, Obihiro Local Bureau)

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