The Virginia Zoo joins Zoo Miami in saying goodbye to one of their cherished elephants. 

Cita the elephant, 50, formerly a resident of Norfolk's Virginia Zoo, has died.

Another elephant at Zoo Miami, where Cita currently resided, asserted her dominance in a confrontation and knocked Cita down to the ground. Suffering from a variety of age-related issues such as muscle wasting and advanced arthritis, Cita was unable to get back up, and though Miami Zoo staff made several efforts to help her (including administering methods to alleviate pain), they were sadly unsuccessful. 

According to a report by 13 News Now, staff performed a necropsy to determine the official cause of death, and the results will not be available for several weeks. However, the test showed signs of a blood clot, which may have been a contributing factor.

"This is a very difficult time for the Zoo Miami family, as well as the staff and volunteers at the Virginia Zoo where Cita had lived for decades. This is especially difficult for the elephant keepers who have a very special bond with these magnificent and charismatic animals that they so passionately dedicate themselves to caring for," Zoo Miami said in a statement.

Courtesy of Zoo Miami

Cita called the Virginia Zoo her home for several decades before she was moved along with Lisa to Zoo Miami in 2016. Cita and Lisa lived with a group of elephants the zoo called the "Golden Girls," since all the elephants in the group were over the age of 40. (How adorable is that?) 

Elephants are social animals, so the confrontation is not considered uncommon. The other elephant involved in the confrontation is named Peggy.


Did you visit Cita while she was at the Virginia Zoo? Did you see her in Miami? Share your memories of Cita in the comments below!

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