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Cinda, Sedgwick County Zoo's Iconic Elephant, Dies

Cinda,_1972-2014.jpg
Sedgwick County Zoo
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Sedgwick County has lost a beloved resident. It’s not a longtime public official or philanthropist, but a 43-year-old elephant named Cinda. 

The Sedgwick County Zoo announced the death of the elephant on Wednesday. It's one the facility's original animals.

Sedgwick County Zoo Executive Director Mark Reed says it was most likely due to a heart attack and it didn't come as a complete surprise. Nevertheless…

“It’s been a rough day,” Reed says with tears in his eyes.

Cinda and Stephanie, who is now the only remaining elephant, were acquired from South Africa in 1972. 

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Credit ShowMeElephants.com
Cinda and Stephanie with a keeper in the 1970s.

They are still the only two elephants the facility has ever had. Reed says they’ve lost a treasured part of their family.

“She’s one of our iconic animals,” he says. “The public knows her by name. She’s done a lot of paintings for people. She’s been on our posters, been on our calendars.”

Reed says Cinda’s body will be used for research and her skeleton will be given to a museum in Oklahoma City.

He was happy to talk about the $10.5 million expansion of the zoo’s elephant exhibit, which has already broken ground. When complete, Stephanie will have as many as eight new companions. 

 

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Credit Deborah Shaar