In Pics: Oregon Zoo bids adieu to Packy who was euthanised
Packy was born shortly before 6 a.m. on April 14, 1962. From his birth he earned international attention. North America learnt much about Asian elephants after his birth. From his birth to the next 20 years in Portland scientists tried to understand Asian elephants and lot was learnt about how to care for the species.
Before 1962 only one elephant was born 100 years ago in a North American zoo but had lived only for few weeks. The facilities developed after 1962 led to birth of many elephants in North America including Packy's son Rama and daughter Shine.
Rama too like his father had contracted TB. Packy's team at the zoo believes that his spirit will live on in the personality of his daughter Shine, as well as in the design of zoo's Elephant Lands habitat.
Here are some pics of the world famous Packy:
Outcry from animal activists
The zoo's decision to euthanise Packy came three years after Packy and two other elephants at the Portland park were diagnosed with the highly infectious tuberculosis. The decision to euthanise came after a lengthy search for alternative treatment options. The last test results indicated Packy was suffering from a drug-resistant strain of TB. The decision however, still followed outcry from animal activists.
Packy left fans heartbroken
Mike Warner a fan of Packy after knowing about Packy's death tweeted, "HEARTBROKEN. One of the best things I got to do was feed Packy the Elephant. Sad to hear he died this morning. RIP big guy". Image courtesy: @MikeKATU
His birth had made headlines
Packy, who was the first elephant born in the Western Hemisphere and who had made headlines during the Kennedy era.
Vets had run out of all options to treat Packy
Critics of the zoo argue that Packy was euthanised to relieve a physical burden upon the zoo. Some even suggested that as the animal didn't show symptoms of the disease. Zoo staff said that he had been separated from other elephants and was kept away from humans too. He had contracted TB in 2013 through human contact. Dr. Tim Storms, the zoo's lead veterinarian said the zoo had run out of all the options to treat him.
Packy was world famous
Packy become one of the most famous animals in the world - inspiring books, records, Rose Parade floats.