The matriarch of Paignton Zoo has died. Female African elephant Duchess collapsed in her house early on Sunday morning. Despite a determined and extended response from her keepers, the in-house vet team and other staff and volunteers, the difficult decision to euthaniase her was taken at lunch-time.
Simon Tonge, Executive Director of Paignton Zoo, was present throughout: “Duchess was found collapsed in her house at 8.00 in the morning. She was lying on her left side – with her good eye to the floor - and unable to stand, which was distressing for her keepers to see.