27 May '16, 7am

'Most beloved elephant in #Japan' dies, aged 69

TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese animal lovers were mourning the death of the country's oldest elephant, Hanako, on Friday (May 27), who passed away "quietly" after spending most of her 69 years in captivity. Hanako, which means "Flower Child" in Japanese, became something of a cause celebre last year following an international campaign to improve the ageing pachyderm's cramped living conditions. The cause of death was not immediately known, zookeepers told AFP, adding that an autopsy would be conducted later in the day. Captive elephants have a life expectancy of 40-plus years. According to Guinness World Records, the oldest known elephant was Lin Wang, an Asian elephant who lived until the grand old age of 86 and died in 2003 at Taipei Zoo. Mourners flocked to Tokyo's Inokashira Park Zoo to pay their respects on Friday with more than 70 condolence cards left for Hanako by well-wis...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/most-beloved-e...

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