Posted on May 8, 2019 by
African Elephant, Dari, Gets by With a Little Help From Her Friends… And a Crane
SALT LAKE CITY (May 8) – The oldest African Elephant in North America and long-time Zoo favorite, 55 year-old Dari, had a difficult time getting up this morning.
Zoo staff found Dari lying on the ground unable to stand. With a stiff and arthritic hind leg, Dari could not get the leverage she needed to get up on her own.
Hogle Zoo brought in a large crane and, with a show of tremendous teamwork, over 20 Zoo staff from multiple departments helped hoist the 8,300 pound animal to her feet.
“She stood on her own the first try,” said elephant manager Eric Peterson who has worked with Dari for 19 years. “And within five minutes of being up she was eating normally. That says it all to me – she’s doing really well.”
Dari came to Utah’s Hogle Zoo in 1967 and has been a crowd favorite ever since. African elephants have an average life span of 42 years in the wild and Dari is going strong at 55 years – which is roughly the same as a 90 year-old human.
With Dari’s advancing age, Zoo veterinary staff work closely with the elephant staff to provide her with any medications she might need to keep her healthy and comfortable.