Flavia was separated from her herd at age three and never saw another elephant again

By Kelli Bender
March 05, 2019 02:09 PM
Cordoba Zoo

Flavia’s life of loneliness is over.

According to The Local, the Indian elephant was taken from her herd at the age of three and brought to Spain’s Cordoba Zoo. Since arriving at the zoo, Flavia was kept alone in an enclosure, without the interaction her species craves, for 43 years.

This solitary confinement earned Flavia the title “the saddest elephant in the world,” reports EuroWeekly, from animal rights groups in the country.

Flavia died at Cordoba Zoo on March 1 at the age of 47. The Local reports that the elephant died after months of deteriorating health, which included weight loss and depression. She collapsed in her exhibit on Friday and was euthanized after she was unable to get up.

Throughout Flavia’s time alone at Cordoba Zoo, multiple animal rights groups lobbied to have the elephant moved to a zoo, sanctuary or safari park where the animal could finally interact with her own kind again.

In the months leading up to Flavia’s death, animal rights group Pacma was working with the zoo to improve Flavia’s enclosure and was trying to convince the zoo to move the elephant to a safari park in another part of Europe.

Sadly, that day never came.

Cordoba Zoo is mourning the loss of the elephant. The zoo posted a tribute to the long-term resident on their Facebook page. The city of Cordoba held a press conference about Flavia.


“Her death is a tremendous blow in general for the zoo family, especially for Fran and Javi who had been her carers in the last moments, and also for Silvia, who took care of her previously.” Amparo Pernichi, the councillor in charge of environmental issues at Cordoba City Hall, said at the press conference, adding that the elephant was considered an icon of the city.