Elephant Dies Of Broken Heart
This is the moment Damini the elephant gave up life … for the love of her friend.
With a tear in her eye, she keeled over and just faded away. They say elephants never forget – and tragically in this case they were right.
The 72-year-old Indian elephant died If a broken heart as she mourned the passing of her young female companion, Champakali.
When Champakali died on April 11 delivering a stillborn calf, Damini’s huge eyes welled tears. She showed no interest in food or anything else.
For days, she stood still in her enclosure at the Prince of Wales Zoo, in Lucknow, India, barely nibbling at the heaps of sugarcane, bananas and grass put in front of her.
Soon her legs swelled up and buckled under her weight and the grieving animal collapsed.
She lay on her side, her head and ears drooping, her trunk curled and her eyes brimming with tears.
Staff erected a tent over her and cooled her with jets of water and whirring fans, as she lay on a bed of fragrant medicinal grass.
But nothing could stop the grieving giant from gradually fading away.
Zookeeper Kamaal said Damini simply lay “staring at the staff with her sad eyes, moist with tears”.
A week ago, she completely stopped eating or drinking her usual daily quota of 40 gallons of water, despite the 46C heat.
Alarmed vets pumped more than 25 gallons of glucose, saline and vitamins through a vein in her ear.
But she became very still and passed away on Wednesday.
Zoo vet Dr Utkarsh Shukla said: “In the face of Damini’s intense grief, all our treatment failed.”
Damini first came to the zoo after being rescued from bandits who were illegally transporting her across India.
For five months, she was a solitary figure in her enclosure at the animal haven.
Last September, her pregnant younger companion Champakali came to the zoo from Dudhwa National Park, 350 miles south-east of New Delhi
Zoo officials, worried about her health, decided to send her to Lucknow as a kind of elephant maternity leave – pregnant elephants usually rely on family support, from “aunts”.
Dr Shukla said: “Damini took up the job instantaneously.”
Kamaal the zookeeper said the two elephants thrived in each other’s company and “became inseparable in no time”.
Now, for the second time in a month, the heart- broken keeper has to a dig a pit to bury an elephant.
He said: “It will take me some time to get over the death of my two loved ones.”
Director of Glasgow Zoo Richard O’Grady said: “There is a history of this sort of thing with elephants.
“You can go back to the old elephant hunters who would find elephants captured from their tribes would just refuse to eat and waste away.
Broken Heart Hits TTU: As MC Wayome and Ohemah Wayome Breaks Up
“The elephants would rather die than be separated from the their loved ones.
“It seems Damini died of a broken heart. It may be unscientific to say elephants actually grieve and mourn in the same way as humans, but that is how it seems and there’s plenty of evidence to support this.
“I for one believe this is what happened at the Prince of Wales Zoo.”