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African Elephant Dies at Zoo Miami


April 22, 2017


RON MAGILL, Zoo Communications Director
305-251-0400, ext. 5084916 – Zoo Miami


It is with great sadness that we report that Lisa, a 44-year-old female African elephant, died this afternoon shortly after lying down on her side in the elephant barn. She will undergo an extensive necropsy that will include a variety of tests to help determine the cause of death. The results of those tests will not be known for several weeks.

Though there are no obvious causes of death at this time, Lisa has been under very close observation since July 12th when she was found lying down in the barn and needed assistance from zoo staff to get back on her feet. Since that time she had begun to resume most normal activity, as well as regain her appetite, though staff was reluctant to say she had fully recovered.

Lisa and another female named Cita arrived at Zoo Miami on April 19, 2016 from the Virginia Zoo. They joined our resident African elephants, Peggy and Mabel, on the African exhibit and were affectionately called "The Golden Girls" because of their advanced age (over 40) and the fact that Zoo Miami was where they would spend their retirement.

This is a very difficult time for the Zoo Miami family, as well as the staff and volunteers at the Virginia Zoo where Lisa had lived for nearly 40 years. In a statement released by the Virginia Zoo, it was said, "Our friends at Zoo Miami have provided exceptional care and management for Lisa in her later years. We find comfort in knowing that Cita still has familiar faces and companionship with her keepers and the other 2 elephants, Peggy and Mabel. This is a great loss to our community and we thank our staff and Zoo Miami staff who played a part in Lisa's health and welfare. She undoubtably had a tremendous impact on visitors to the Virginia Zoo, as well. Her contribution to the community's conservation knowledge and appreciation for this amazing species will be cherished."