Following news earlier in the week that she was unwell, Perth Zoo’s beloved elephant Tricia passed away on Wednesday, with outpourings of grief coming from around the State.
“At 65-years-old, Tricia was one of the oldest elephants in the world, and while we knew the time to say goodbye was approaching, it’s still heart breaking,” said the Zoo via a post on their website.
Tricia arrived at Perth Zoo way back in 1963, where she spent her first 23 years in a small concrete enclosure, “basically a display animal”, said Tricia’s handler of the past 20 years, Steve Edmunds.
“I was very fortunate to get a job at the Zoo caring for Tricia in 2001,” said Edmunds in an emotional tribute. “At that time Tricia was quite suspicious of new people and was quite intimidating. It took a good 12 months before she accepted and trusted me…
“A true testament as to how very special and forgiving an elephant that Tricia was, is that in the later years she was the most gentle and trustworthy elephant, not only to her keepers, but to every person she met.”
Tricia’s importance over the past six decades cannot be understated, educating literal generations of visitors in the lives of elephants and the importance of conservation.
Perth Zoo has asked people not to send flowers, rather donate funds to the newly setup Tricia’s Tribute To Conservation Fund.
And if you’d like to pay your respects to Tricia, the Zoo has created a special Memorial Walk that opens this Sunday 10 July, with 50 per cent of ticket sales on the day going to the fund, directly helping save elephants in the wild in her honour.
We reckon it’s gonna be a busy day – you can book your tickets ahead of time here.
Header Image: Alex Cearns / Perth Zoo