As the Zoo wrote on its social media page on Saturday "Today our beloved Erna, chief of the elephant herd, has left us forever. In spite of many hours of struggle by veterinarians, carers and firemen, Erna gave up entirely. When there was no hope left, we had to make a terribly difficult decision, tragic for us but best for Erna... The elephants and keepers are saying their goodbyes. We are very, very sad. Goodbye, our Iron Lady".
Some days ago, the zoo reported that Erna had trouble in getting up after a night's sleep. This already was not typical, as elephants usually sleep while standing up, and only lie down for short rests. She finally raised herself with the help of a fire brigade and a special inflatable cushion among others used to lever cars. The Zoo wrote that the 4-tonne elephant had willingly cooperated with the rescuers and was treated to some of her favourite raspberry syrup afterwards.
Erna, born in 1985, was the oldest and biggest of the elephants at the Warsaw Zoo and the leader of the herd. As the Zoo writes on its pages, Erna, who was recognizable by her characteristic square-shaped forehead, was very intelligent, liked to learn new things, and also was "a strong character who knew how to subordinate the others".
Source: PAP/Warszawskie ZOO