Elderly elephant dies while traveling to Colorado Springs zoo

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A 44-year-old African elephant named Joni died Sunday while en route to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs.

Joni died on her way to the zoo from the Greenville Zoo in South Carolina, KRDO reported. The animal was reportedly being transferred because both zoos believed she would receive better geriatric care at Cheyenne Mountain.

Having an animal die in transport is rare, the zoo said. But the older and larger an animal is, the more complicated a major move can be, the zoo said.

A necropsy will be performed by both Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Greenville Zoo veterinary staff to determine Joni’s cause of death.