MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Zoo has announced the death of one of its beloved elephants.
Zoo officials say Tyranza, or Ty as she was affectionately called, died Friday after her health began to dramatically decline.
Ty was put on Zoo hospice care to closely monitor her health and keep her as comfortable as possible.
To avoid any suffering, the decision was made to humanely euthanize her.
At 56, Tyranza was the oldest African elephant in North America. She set the record for longest-lived African elephant in North America as well.
Ty was born in the wild in 1964, where it is believed she was orphaned.
After a short stint as a circus elephant with Ringling Brothers, she was retired to Memphis Zoo in 1977.
For the last 43 years, she has been the matriarch of the Zoo’s elephant herd.
Visitors may pay their respects by leaving cards and flowers at the elephant statue on the Zoo’s front plaza starting Saturday, Sept. 5.