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Elephant Dies During Attempt to Transfer to Mexico Zoo

March 21, 1992

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A 5-ton African bull elephant died after an attempt to tranquilize him for a move from the Los Angeles Zoo to a larger one in Mexico.

Los Angeles Zoo veterinarian Ben Gonzalez said it would take up to two months to determine what killed the 16-year-old elephant, named Hannibal.

Zoo keepers used tranquilizing darts Thursday to calm Hannibal so he could be placed in a steel-reinforced container for the trip to the Zacongo Zoo in Toluca, Mexico. Shortly after entering the structure, the elephant knelt and would not come to his feet again.

He died early Friday.

″We’re outraged by this and we’re going to call for the closure of the Los Angeles Zoo forever more,″ said Bill Dyer, spokesman for the Los Angeles- based Last Chance for Animals, an animal protection group.

Newly-appointed zoo director Mark Goldstein defended the attempts to move Hannibal, and expressed doubt that the drugs killed the elephant.

″As a veterinarian with 10 years experience, I have no reason to think there was an overdose,″ Goldstein said.

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