Lonely Thai elephant, Hanako dies at age 69
Lonely Thai elephant, Hanako dies at age 69

Lonely Thai elephant, Hanako dies at age 69

Hanako, the world’s loneliest elephant, has died.

For more than 60 years, Hanako had lived in a tiny concrete enclosure at Inokashira Park Zoo in Tokyo, Japan. Her enclosure had no grass or trees, and she hadn’t seen another elephant in decades.

Born in 1947 in Thailand, the female elephant was sent as a gift to Ueno Zoological Gardens in Tokyo in 1949.

She had been kept at the Inokashira Park Zoo in western Tokyo since 1954 and was a popular attraction for visitors, with her relationship with a zookeeper being made into a book and a TV drama.

Hanako made headlines in Thai media in December when Thai elephant lovers and animal welfare activists called on Japanese authorities to relocate Hanako who was living alone at a zoo in Tokyo, to another zoo where she would have the company of other elephants.

Friends of the Asean Elephant made the call, joining similar concerns expressed by Japanese people, after learning that Hanako, had lived alone for the past 61 years in a concrete enclosure devoid of trees or soil.


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