Courtesy: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (CMZoo) shared the story of their terminally ill elephant and expressed their hope that “Malaika” will continue to fight.

As the “end of a story” nears for 36-year-old aging elephant, Malaika, the zoo has released a statement regarding their beloved animal.

Malaika has a history of health challenges and has had far more good days than bad ones in her life, according to a press release.

However, recently Malaika has shown signs that her time to leave is coming soon, including worsening mobility issues and a fluctuating appetite.

The zoo has become prepared for the worst while they reflect on her life and mortality.

Taking multiple life-threatening falls, Malaika is well known by her keeper, Annie Dinwiddie, for being resilient.

Even while she’s not feeling well, her keeper team knows they can count on resilient Malaika to participate so they can care for her. Dinwiddie remembers after what could have been a life-threatening fall that Malaika took in 2019, she kept fighting… Malaika was exhausted, but still allowed her keepers to give her oral medications.

Cheyenee Mountain Zoo
Courtesy: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

As of now, Malaika’s future is uncertain, however, her team is prepared to make the most compassionate decisions for her, empowered with the training and equipment we need to face whatever comes our way. 

CMZoo veterinary and animal care teams are providing oral medications and other treatments as they work to keep Malaika as comfortable as possible.

We’re holding onto hope that Malaika will get through this, but we just don’t know what the next few days or weeks hold for her. If she does recover, it wouldn’t be the first time an aging animal has given us a scare and then lived happily for many more years. Still, we know it’s possible that it may soon be time to say goodbye to Malaika, if she takes another turn for the worse.

Cheyenee Mountain Zoo

If the time does come for Malaika, CMZoo has already prepared “a beautiful final resting place in the mountains for her, thanks to a donor who has been planning with us for many years.”