HomeNational Animal NewsAfter Long Struggle, 'Sassy' Elephant Gives Up Her Fight

After Long Struggle, ‘Sassy’ Elephant Gives Up Her Fight

Colorado Springs, CO – After a long struggle, an elephant at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has given up her fight and passed away. The heartbreaking update was made on Sunday. The zoo explained that Malaika, a 37-year-old African elephant, had “given up her fight” following a long struggle with mobility issues and chronic illness.

On Friday, Malaika went down and was unable to get up again. The zoo’s trained staff teamed up with the fire department to get Malaika back on her feet, but she was still unable to stand on her own and had to be humanely euthanized on Saturday.

Malaika’s health had been “up and down” since February 2022, but the latest incident revealed that it was “her time” to go.

The zoo said:

Despite her history of health challenges, Malaika had far more good days than bad ones in her life. Malaika was described by her keepers as one of the sassiest elephants in our herd, and she frequently carried logs, tires and puzzle feeders around her spaces. She often enjoyed having time to herself, but she would also socialize with Kimba and Lucky.

Malaika’s keepers describe her as a “one-of-a-kind” elephant who loved jumbo marshmallows, salty pretzels, being the center of attention, and her care providers. In a release, the zoo said:

She always knew when a keeper had a new lotion on, and would investigate the new smell with her trunk until she was satisfied. She always entered a new space carrying one of her favorite tires, oftentimes trumpeting as to say “Here I am!”


Malaika had a strong, trusting relationship with her keepers, and will be deeply missed by all of her human and elephant friends.

Rest in peace Malaika.

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  1. These people tell nice stories, but they know very well that an elephant belongs in the jungle, not in a stupid Zoo!!!

  2. Elephants should not be kept in captivity. PERIOD.
    Many elephants still languish in zoos, including Lucy Liberte, in Canada, who has endured over 40 years in solitary in a climate hostile to her. Noor Jehan, terribly neglected in a Pakistani zoo, gave up her fight at only 17 years of age. Elephants normally live into their 60s.
    RIP Malaika.

  3. Zoos are prisons for animals and lead to their unnatural and early deaths. Don’t believe the “conservation” lies – you’re smarter than that and the animals deserve better. Boycott ALL zoos and aquariums!!

  4. I think she didn’t want to be in that concrete jungle anymore she should been out in the jungle where she was suppose to live

  5. I am at peace that her spirit finally giving up in this life where she can be trafficked out of her nature habitat and taken where greed decided her fate. I am frustrated when I hear another elephant or any animal dying in a zoo or other performing place. If they cared for her they would have sent her to the elephant sanctuary in TN or PAWS in CA among a child of places. As far as I am concerned these places killed her physically and psychologically!!! It is selfish for this zoo to keep her especially since they did not have a large space and community with other elephants. When is this going to change!!! STOP TRAFFICKING ANIMALS IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!It is so much the same crime as human smuggling and abduction. I now pray that in heaven Malaika is free and is helped with the abuse she encountered all her life. I send my love, hugs and hope she is in peace.

  6. Elephants are, by nature, nomadic creatures that are constantly on the move. In the wild, an elephant will walk up to 10 miles each day. It is nearly impossible to provide, even an adequate amount of space and exercise, in a captive environment. In addition, zoos cannot mimic the social structure that elephants need to thrive. They need to be in herds and have their family and friendships which are impossible in zoos. It is cruel to keep elephants in small enclosures while hundreds of people stare at them all day. It’s stressful and unhealthy and that’s why more and more zoos are closing their exhibits after their elephants die or they are transferring them out to the 3 US based sanctuaries that exist now.

  7. It is criminal, in this day and age, that majestic elephants (and many other animals) are kept in concrete dustbowls and not being relocated to open field sanctuaries. Not matter what the price!!!


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