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

(Drug Enforcement Agency Photos)...

8 million fentanyl pills seized in Arizona during 4-month DEA operation

The Drug Enforcement Agency said it seized 10.2 million fentanyl pills, the vast majority in Arizona, during a just-completed enforcement operation.
13 hours ago
Kathleen Patterson (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and Facebook/Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Are...

Missing hiker found dead at Spur Cross Ranch in Cave Creek

A Valley woman who went missing over the weekend was found dead in the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area on Wednesday morning, authorities said.
13 hours ago
Republican U.S. senatorial candidate Blake Masters speaks at a campaign event in Phoenix on Aug. 1,...
Kevin Stone

Blake Masters thinks independents will back him over Sen. Mark Kelly

Blake Masters, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Arizona, said Wednesday he thinks the key independent bloc will support him in his effort to unseat Sen. Mark Kelly despite recent polling showing otherwise.
13 hours ago
(Pixabay Photo)...

Authorities investigate fatal boating accident on Colorado River in Arizona

Authorities are investigating the death of a California man in an apparent boating accident on the Colorado River in northwestern Arizona.
13 hours ago
FILE - Arizona Corporation Commission Chairman Bob Burns smiles during a meeting, Thursday, June 20...
Associated Press

High court says lone Arizona regulator can seek utility records

The Arizona commission that regulates utilities cannot prevent a single member from issuing subpoenas to investigate companies that the panel oversees, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
13 hours ago
(Apache Junction Police Department photo)...

Suspect in fatal shooting in Apache Junction turns himself over to police

A young man suspected of fatally shooting his brother in Apache Junction has turned himself over to authorities.
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Sheena, Phoenix Zoo’s Asian elephant, dies at age 50