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‘World’s Saddest Elephant’ Dies Alone In Her Cell At Zoo

She'd been alone for 43 years 💔

For most of her life, this elephant didn’t have a friend in the world.

For the past 43 years, Flavia, an Asian elephant, lived at Cordoba Zoo in southern Spain, where she first arrived at the age of 3.

Since the day she arrived, Flavia never saw another elephant, according to animal welfare group PACMA. While elephants are incredibly social in the wild — and females often stay with their mothers for life — she was forced to live alone.

As a result, Flavia reportedly suffered from depression for years, and displayed the signature signs of captive distress, including swaying and pacing.

After years of public concern, the zoo finally agreed to work with PACMA to move Flavia to a sanctuary. But it was too late. On March 1, at age 47, Flavia passed away at the zoo after several months of declining health.

The zoo announced Flavia’s death “with great sadness” on Friday, posting a few photos from her life of solitude there. One picture shows her as a tiny calf, alone on a slab of concrete.

Another picture shows her reaching her trunk out from inside a small cage — a sad metaphor for her life spent as “the saddest elephant in the world.”

But while Flavia’s death is disheartening, animal lovers are hoping her fate can raise awareness for captive elephants worldwide — many of whom are kept in similar conditions, and who still have a chance to be freed.

“This story could have had a happy ending,” PACMA said on Facebook. “We were making a great effort to improve your health and rescue you. Rest in peace, Flavia.”

To help other rescued Asian elephants, you can make a donation to Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand.