Farewell Packy – The Sad News of Packy’s Death
This morning I was sad to read news of Packy’s death. Elephants have long been one of my favorite animals, and Packy was one of the most famous, especially in my part of the world.
I grew up in Portland, Oregon, and one of my favorite things as a kid was going to the zoo. The elephants were always a favorite of mine too. I’ve been in awe of these majestic creatures my whole life, and as a Portland resident, I had the great privilege of living near one of the best zoos for elephant conservation.
This morning, the Oregon Zoo was forced to make the difficult decision to euthanize the herd’s patriarch, Packy. At age 54, he was the oldest elephant in North America. He had been fighting tuberculosis for over three years. Zoo keepers and vets assessed his quality of life and risk to the heard and decided it was time.
Packy was born on April 14 1962 to wild born parents, Thonglaw (from Cambodia) and Belle (from Thailand). Captive breeding was very rare back then (he was the first born on the western hemisphere in 44 years), and Packy’s birth made international news. Thonglaw sired 14 other calves as well as Packy.
Packy is survived by his one daughter, Shine, who still lives at the Oregon Zoo and is the matriarch of the herd. You will be missed, Packy!