Friday 2 December 2016

Performing elephant dies at 59

Published 03/06/2011 | 04:29

Liz Dane performs her act with Queenie the water skiing elephant (AP)
Liz Dane performs her act with Queenie the water skiing elephant (AP)

An Asian elephant that gained fame by water skiing decades ago has died, operators at a US theme park have announced.

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The Valdosta Daily Times reported that 59-year-old Queenie was put to sleep after her health deteriorated.

Al Kordowski, director of zoological operations at Wild Adventures in Valdosta, Georgia, said the animal had suffered from declining quality of life and chronic health issues.

Queenie was born in 1952 and came to the south Georgia theme park in 2003 to live out her retirement.

Park officials said she performed in the late 1950s and 1960s and was considered to be one of the oldest Asian elephants in North America.

Archive footage shows the younger elephant balancing on two attached giant skis with a trainer alongside it as a boat pulled it through the water.

She also "played" the harmonica.

Press Association

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