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African elephant dies at Safari Park, possibly in attack by another

November 17, 2011 |  1:48 pm

Umoya
A female African elephant at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has died, possibly from injuries suffered in an attack by another elephant, zoo officials said Thursday.

The 21-year-old elephant named Umoya was found lying on the ground Thursday morning with severe injuries and died before keepers could arrive to offer help. A post-mortem examination is expected to determine the cause of death.

Umoya was one of seven elephants brought in 2003 from the African nation of Swaziland to the Safari Park, which was then called the Wild Animal Park. The park has 18 elephants.

Elephants are social animals, with adult females often sharing the duties of raising and feeding the young.

Other elephants in the herd were allowed to see Umoya after her death as a kind of farewell, officials said. The last two to leave were her calves: Phakamile, 4, and Emanti, 18 months.

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--Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Umoya, an African elephant at San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Credit: San Diego Zoological Society

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