Above images from NZ Herald online
Kashin, age 40, was humanely put down this week. The Auckland zookeepers and all of NZ will miss her. There have been a few articles in the NZ Herald this week about her. She was brought to NZ in 1972. She was suffering from arthritis and a bad skin condition. When they noticed the normally pleasant animal withdrawn and suffering more than she had been since closely monitoring her, they could tell she was in pain and it was time. They let her companion elephant, Burma, see Kashin after she died. Researchers believe elephants mourn their dead.
ASB bank had a marketing campaign, with yellow elephant shaped plastic banks for kids to learn how to save or "Kash in". There were school events and parades with the yellow elephant logo. ASB was proud to sponsor Kashin the elephant and get some good marketing out of it.
Apparently, due to regulations, it will take about 2 years to get in more elephants which has been approved by the city council. They plan to use some land, currently a park, next to the zoo to provide more room for them. It would be really cool to have a small herd of elephants in the middle of Auckland city amongst the suburbs with enough room where they could live semi-normal elephant lives.
Now the keepers will have to monitor Burma. If she becomes depressed all alone as a single elephant, she may have be moved to another zoo. They are hopeful Burma can stay and get more elephant friends sooner the better.
Auckland has a perfect climate for elephants since rarely going below 40 F. The poor elephants at Lincoln Park zoo in Chicago had to probably spend a good half of the year indoors since it gets below freezing there. Not the best weather for them in Chicago. But Auckland has a lovely mild temperate climate and all the animals I've seen always seem content.
If I was a zoo animal, I'd want to be at Auckland Zoo living the high life and tended by excellent, caring zookeepers.
.... farewell Kashin, NZ loved you!