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Dulary is gone.
Dulary is gone.

Dulary is now living at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. She is the only elephant there who was removed from a loving, caring environment and arrived in excellent health. (Yes, even her feet.)

Dulary had friends at the Philadelphia Zoo. For most of her life she was a member of a wonderfully unique "herd" of two African and two Asian elephants. Then, two died, leaving Dulary and Petal. One African, one Asian. Their's was a very special, unique bond that could never have happened in nature.

But then the zoo brought in two, playful younger African elephants, and one day, a pushing and shoving match between one of them and Dulary resulted in a cut above Dulary's eye. Dulary had to be separated from the other elephants until her injury healed, and during that time, she became very "spoiled" by all the human attention she was receiving. She chose to remain special and not to rejoin the herd.

Finally, the decision was made to close the elephant exhibit and send all the elephants away. Now Dulary is at the sanctuary, and soon the African elephants will be moved to the Pittsburgh Zoo's International Conservation Center.

Memories of past times and sights at the Philadelphia Zoo

Scenes from the Philadelphia Zoo - 1999-2001

Scenes from the Philadelphia Zoo - 2002

Scenes from the Philadelphia Zoo - 2003

Scenes from the Philadelphia Zoo - 2004

Scenes from the Philadelphia Zoo - 2005

And then the zoo was faced with a decision ...

Scenes from the Philadelphia Zoo - 2006
(Keep the elephants, I say!)

Photos of Dulary taken in 2006
(Don't send her away!)

And the decision was made.

I hope it turns out to be the right one for the elephants, for the zoo visitors, and for the Zoo.

Click here to see Dulary and her lifelong companion, Petal. And click here to see Dulary and the younger elephants playing in the water.

UPDATE: After a full year, Dulary finally went into the new pond the Sanctuary staff built soon after she arrived to help her feel more at home. That was the point at which I realized she would be fine. (To see the Elephant Sanctuary's YouTube video of Dulary's first dip into her pond, click here.)

Dulary is a survivor. Like a lot of people, she makes the best of whatever happens to her in life, after making it known to all around her what she likes and dislikes, and what she will and won't tolerate.

She is obviously getting good and loving care at the Sanctuary. But she had that at the Philadelphia Zoo, too. And the Zoo had been her home since infancy.

So, even though Dulary is doing well now, as a long time observer of Dulary at the Zoo, I still believe she would have been happier had she stayed at the Zoo, and she and Petal had been reunited for the last few years of Petal's life. (Petal died June 9, 2008.) After that, Dulary would have been equally happy being the "only elephant" being cared for by the keepers she loved.

UPDATE: Dulary passed away Monday, December 23, 2013, at the Elephant Sanctuary. And even though she had wonderful care during the six years she lived in the Elephant Sanctuary, I still believe she would have been happier if she could have stayed in the Philadelphia Zoo and had been reunited with her lifelong friend, Petal, the Zoo's African elephant, and they both could have lived their last years in the only home they had ever known..

Last updated December 26, 2013

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