Join our zoo community

World's Oldest Elephant Dies

Discussion in 'India' started by zooboy28, 9 Feb 2015.

  1. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    1 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    4,570
    Location:
    Melbourne, Aust (ex. NZ)
    World's Oldest Elephant Dies at the Thiruvananthapuram (or Trivandrum) Zoo, Kerala, India.

    Well, I don't know if its the world's oldest, I'm just not aware of any that are older. And I'm not at all convinced the animal in question was 85 years old, given it was wild caught in 1946 - meaning it has spent 69 years in captivity, and I have no idea how they would know it was 16 years old at the time of capture (and indeed doesn't capturing a 16 year old elephant and totally taming it seem a little odd?). What is the longevity record for captive elephants?

    Anyway, old elephant dies: https://en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/maheswari-85-old-elephant-dies-zoo-105036594.html

     
  2. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    16 Nov 2008
    Posts:
    1,500
    Location:
    London, England
    The book “Longevity of Mammals in Captivity; from the Living Collections of the World” (Weigl; 2005) lists a number of Asiatic elephants that have lived in captivity for well over fifty years; the oldest of these being:-

    • one that died after 56 years 9 months in captivity at an estimated age of 63 years
    • one that died after 55 years 5 months in captivity at an estimated age of 65 or 66 years

    None of the elephants listed in this book reached an age approaching the 85 years that “Maheswari” is alleged to have reached.
     
  3. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    1,572
    Location:
    Everywhere at once
    Elephants have lifespan limited by wear of their teeth - elephant in its late 50s wears down the last pair of molars and cannot feed. Old elephants in zoos must be given ground soft food. The book 'Zootierhaltung - Saugetiere' goes as far as saying that no documented elephant lived up to its 65 birthday.

    This elephant either lived (improbable) for over 20 years eating soft food ground by the keepers, or it was two elephants - older and younger - listed as one.
     
  4. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2012
    Posts:
    11,365
    Location:
    fijnaart, the netherlands
  5. carlos55

    carlos55 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19 Jan 2014
    Posts:
    238
    Location:
    mexico,d.f.
    Ranny, an asian elephant at Chapultepec zoo was reported to have been 66 t0 68 when she died in 2009 from falling in a moat. As she was a circus elephant before arriving to Chapultepec her exact age was not known.

    In his book "Life on the Ark", longtime Lincoln Park zoo director Lester Fischer writes that Judy a (estimated) 44 year old asian elephant and ex circus performer was walked from Brookfield zoo to LPZ on July 2, 1943. Judy died on May 11, 1988, when she would have been over 85. Dr Fischer notes that Judy was a circus animal so the exact date of her birth was not known.
    So the kerala elephant possible age could at least be possible.