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First African Elephant Born in North America Dies at Age 36

It is a sad day for animal-lovers throughout the United States, as the first African Elephant born in North America, “Little Diamond,” passed away at 36 years old in the North Carolina Zoo she has called home for the past 20 years. Little Diamond may have lived most of her life in North Carolina, but she is a Tennessee girl at heart, as she was born right here in Knoxville at the Knoxville Zoo.  WATE-Channel 6 Knoxville quotes the following:

An animal autopsy found the elephant had an impacted large intestine as a result of ingesting sand, which is common in elephant-holding facilities and exhibits. “Little Diamond” was well-known in the U.S. zoo community as the first African elephant born in North America. She was one of seven elephants at the North Carolina Zoo. The remaining elephants – four females and two males ranging in age from 12 to 40 – are in good condition and on exhibit, Hackney said. “Little Diamond had been part of our elephant family for 20 years,” zoo director David Jones said. “This is a very sad loss.”

This weekend would be a great weekend to visit the Knoxville Zoo and check out the Clayton Safari Splash, and don’t forget to stop off at the Kuumba Festival at Chilhowee Park on Saturday or Sunday!


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