Mimi is an old girl — the grand dame of the Denver Zoo, where she has ruled the roost since 1961 in spite of her shyness.
She is at least 53, and elephants, under human care and in the wild, have an average life span of just over 44 years.
Mimi’s slow decline has been steeper lately and harder to watch. Tender feet, sore joints and a slower gait have been apparent for a while — but when their “big-boned” girl recently lost her legendary appetite, zookeepers started thinking about the end.
"Mimi is one of the most beloved animals in the zoo," said Craig Piper, Denver Zoo president and chief executive. "We want everyone in Denver to understand how precious she is."
But it may be time for the community to prepare to say goodbye.
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