After 43 years of lockdown and solitary confinement at the zoo in the city of Cordoba, southern Spain, the “saddest” female baby elephant named Flavia died on March 1 thanks to the methods of assisted suicide.
According to The Sun, after years of deteriorating health and severe depression, Flavia was decided by zoo staff to take her own life in order to have a smoother death.
Amparo Pernichi, Cordoba’s environmental spokesperson, said it was “sad news” for the zoo, especially for those looking after Flavia.
“Over the past six months Flavia’s health has deteriorated, especially over the past two weeks,” she said, adding that Flavia was struggling to get up.
To aid in the death, Flavia was first given a sedative. When the elephant fell asleep, staff injected suicide pills so Flavia could pass away slowly, ending a series of painful days.
Flavia was known as “the saddest elephant in the world” for being separated from the herd at a young age, local officials said. Since the age of three taken to the Cordoba Zoo, Flavia has been at the center of many campaigns calling for an end to elephant captivity.
The anti-animal abuse organization (PACMA) said animal rights activists tried to demand Flavia’s release until the last moments before the elephant died. Many experts believe that Flavia’s life imprisonment in solitude is a symbol of the bored life of the animals in the zoo.
Zoo staff then posted a video tribute to Flavia with the content: “On March 1, Cordoba woke up to the sad news of the death of our beloved Flavia. With this video we want to pay tribute to Flavia . For being with us for over 40 years, teaching us how to care for elephants and their habitat. “