ARIZONA NEWS

Sheena, Phoenix Zoo’s Asian elephant, dies at age 50

Nov 23, 2021, 4:15 AM | Updated: 10:56 am
(Phoenix Zoo Photo)...
(Phoenix Zoo Photo)
(Phoenix Zoo Photo)

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Zoo said goodbye to its 50-year-old Asian elephant, Sheena, for the final time Monday.

Sheena died in the morning after her keepers found her laying down in her barn and unable to get up.

She passed away a short time later of natural causes, the zoo said in a press release.

The Asian elephant had been in stable condition but was being carefully managed in recent years due to bouts with chronic osteoarthritis and gastrointestinal issues.

“Sheena was the ‘sneaky one,’” Heather Wright, manager of elephants, said. “She wasn’t outwardly rambunctious, but we’d hear her playing with toys in the barn, and when we’d come around the corner to watch her, she would freeze and give a look like ‘What? It wasn’t me!’ and act innocent.

“It was so funny! Sheena was incredibly intelligent, extremely sweet and she seemed to love everybody.”

Sheena had spent the past 21 years at the zoo after being brought over from the Ringling Brothers Center for Elephant Conservation.

She was a companion to 56-year-old Indu and Reba, who died in April 2020.

“She will be sorely missed by all her caretakers here at the Zoo, as well as our members and guests,” Wright said.

The average life span for Asian wild elephants and elephants in managed care settings is 45 years old.

The zoo said it doesn’t have plans to acquire another elephant.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)...
KTAR.com

Man found shot in Phoenix street near freeway, dies at hospital

Police said a man was shot and died in a hospital early Wednesday in Phoenix and the search is on for a suspect.
9 hours ago
(Screenshot/ADOT Webcam)...
KTAR.com

Crash shuts down eastbound US 60 near Loop 202 in Mesa

An accident shut down eastbound U.S. 60 in Mesa early Wednesday, transportation officials said.
9 hours ago
Janet Murguia, president and CEO of UnidosUS, spoke about her group's "Count on Us" campaign at an ...
Griselda Zetino

Campaign launches to paint ‘accurate narrative about Latinos’ in Arizona

A national campaign aimed at highlighting the contributions Latinos make in Arizona and other parts of the U.S. recently launched in Phoenix.
9 hours ago
(KTAR News Photo/Taylor Tasler)...
Taylor Tasler

Police foundation hopes to raise money to remodel Phoenix Victim’s Center

The city of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Foundation are making sexual assault and domestic abuse survivors a priority with new funding for its victim services center.  
9 hours ago
Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone a podium...
SuElen Rivera

Maricopa County Sheriff Penzone says few responses from officials for election safety meeting

Paul Penzone said the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has received few responses following an announcement it will host a safety summit for elected officials and those seeking office on Thursday.
9 hours ago
(Mar-A-Lago and Kari Lake: AP Photos; Shipping container border wall: Twitter Photo/@DougDucey)...
Kevin Stone

Q&A with Arizona governor hopeful Kari Lake on Trump search warrant, border barrier, more

Here’s what Kari Lake, the Republican nominee for governor in Arizona, had to say about the FBI search at Mar-A-Lago, border barriers and more.
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Sheena, Phoenix Zoo’s Asian elephant, dies at age 50