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Zoo favourite Wendy dies, aged 42
Wendy the elephant THIS STORY LAST UPDATED:
12 September 2002 1311 BST


One of the oldest residents of Bristol Zoo - Wendy the elephant - has died.
Wendy was put down on the advice of vets
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The 42-year-old favourite - the second oldest Asian elephant in the British Isles - was put down on Wednesday night.

In a statement the zoo said the difficult decision to put her down was taken on the advice of vets.

"Wendy had a severe degenerative joint disease; despite intensive veterinary care her welfare became a matter of great concern to the zoo."

Bristol Zoo entrance
Wendy lived at the zoo for more than 40 years

'Significant pain'

Zoo vet Sharon Redrobe said: "We realised that the condition was incurable and the prognosis gloomy.

"Wendy was suffering from significant joint pain despite strong medication and more recently was unable to have the comfort of restful sleep."

Zoo director Dr Jo Gipps added: "We have always sought to care for Wendy's individual needs and it is with great sadness that we have had to make this difficult decision.

"Wendy will be the last elephant here at Bristol Zoo Gardens. Wendy was a much loved animal and will be deeply missed by all staff and visitors to the zoo."

Protected

Last year the elephant had to be quarantined to protect her from the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

She had to be kept inside for the duration of the crisis and was only allowed out in May, after the threat of her catching the airborne disease had passed.

In February this year, Wendy was given a special cream to keep her hide soft and supple.

Vets at the zoo had diagnosed her as suffering from the skin condition Hyperkeratosis, or very dry skin.

Keepers sprayed on the preparation each day to alleviate it.

Logging camp

Asian elephant Wendy was born on a logging camp in Thailand.

She arrived in Bristol in 1961 when she was about 12 months old.

For more than 20 years she had a female companion in her enclosure - African elephant, Christina.

When they arrived both elephants had to be bottle fed and, at an early age, were taken for walks both inside the Zoo and around the Clifton area.

Attempts to find a new companion for Wendy failed as she did not get on with other elephants - and was bullied and upset when introduced to others of her kind.

By contrast she loved people and her keepers, who are very saddened by her death.

"We realised that the condition was incurable and the prognosis gloomy."
Zoo vet Sharon Redrobe
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