11 February 2017
News has emerged that Packy, a 54 year old Asian elephant at Oregon Zoo, has been killed, after reportedly suffering from a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis.
At the time of his death, Packy was reported to be the oldest male of his species in North America, and made headlines back in 1962 when he became the first elephant born in the Western Hemisphere.
In the last few weeks, keepers from the Zoo and animal advocates had petitioned to save Packy’s life on the grounds that he failed to show any symptoms of TB, and that he may still be able to lead a normal life without suffering. Despite this campaign, authorities at the zoo made the decision to end his life.
Born Free is saddened by the news. We do not know the exact details of Packy’s health and welfare, and can only hope that the decision to put Packy down was made in his interest to end his suffering.
We are convinced that the keeping of elephants in zoos need to be phased out worldwide so that no more elephants have to live the life that Packy lived. In the meantime, we hope to see the establishment of a network of genuine elephant sanctuaries to offer more appropriate care for those elephants already in captivity.