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Popular Kansas City Zoo elephant euthanized

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 | 9:18 a.m. CST

KANSAS CITY — The Kansas City Zoo euthanized one of its most popular elephants after determining that she was losing her battle with age and arthritis.

Penney the elephant, believed to be 51, died Tuesday after her condition worsened in the last six weeks. Zoo director Randy Wisthoff said Penney stopped eating Monday night.

She was the oldest elephant at the zoo and the second oldest female elephant among zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The Kansas City Star reported that Penney was distinguished by her 4-foot-long tusks and a shortened trunk after losing the bottom 10 inches in a 1985 accident.

She received her name after children contributed pennies to the zoo for a fundraising campaign to bring her to Kansas City from Abilene, Texas.


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