Scotty The Baby Elephant Dies

by Rick Howlett on May 13, 2010

By Rick Howlett

Louisville Zoo officials say Scotty, the elephant born in captivity three years ago, has died.

A press release from the zoo says Scotty was recently diagnosed with colic, and was euthanized last night after his condition deteriorated.

Scotty was born March 18, 2007 at the Louisville Zoo, the first elephant born in Kentucky and the first in the zoo’s 40 year history.

(Photo courtesy of the Louisville Zoo)

Comments Closed


Joanne May 13, 2010 at 6:39 am

Very Sad day for this precious little creature. We are proud of this accomplishment and hope the Zoo doesn’t give up. Hope his Mama finds peace I know she is missing him.

Jaime May 13, 2010 at 7:27 am

Oh no! This is so sad and awful. I just visited scotty three weeks ago and he was waving his little trunk. Rest in peace little guy.

keysha May 13, 2010 at 10:13 am

So so sad. what a very precious animal. will be very much missed. Hope mamma can get through it ok. We love u scotty!

Angela May 13, 2010 at 11:13 am

Holding the elephant keeper staff, Mikki, Punch, and all the Zoo staff in our hearts.

Jeanie May 13, 2010 at 11:39 am

An animal like this should not be kept in captivity, and I blame this for his death. Elephants do not belong in zoos, they belong out in the wild where they can roam freely.

Bryan May 13, 2010 at 6:40 pm

I agree completely.

Shawn May 13, 2010 at 11:43 am

Just another reason why elephants should not be kept in captivity. RIP little elephant…. Your suffering was not in vain.

57 elephants deaths in captivity were recorded in 2009.
19 elephant deaths have been recorded in 2010 alone.

When will we relies that these animals are not happy and are often times not properly cared for?

mo webb May 13, 2010 at 2:34 pm

couldn’t agree more !

Vinton May 14, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Scotty’s birth was significant because elephants are endangered in the wild. Zoos are keeping elephants alive. The AZA-accredited zoos are not the problem. They are doing great efforts toward conservation and preserving the species. Are you seriously suggesting that Scotty should never have been born? He was a wonderful, intelligent, joyful being who enjoyed his brief life and deserved to live as much as any other being on the planet. I hope that zoos bring more elephants to the world, and I hope that they will learn from this sad event how to better care for these magnificent creatures.

Brian May 15, 2010 at 12:34 pm

couldnt agree more Vinton some people just dont know

Paddy May 15, 2010 at 4:38 pm

According to Dr. Sam Wasser, University of Washington:

35,000 African elephants were killed (by people) despite being “in the wild” in 2009.

22,000 African elephants are already dead so far this year, 2010.

200 Asian elephants are killed in India alone per year.

When are all the short sighted “nit-wits” going to realize that elephants need our help NOW!

So sorry for your loss citizens of Louisville and the zoo staff. He will be missed!

Jacqui Tonge May 13, 2010 at 2:30 pm

A happy release, rather than being prodded and pushed about from pillar to post, they should be in the wild or not at all.

Lets hope they don’t breed any more, people are disgusting, they say they ‘care’ about animals, hut either eat them or use them for entertainment. !

Vinton May 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Had you ever visited him at the zoo? Had you ever volunteered at the zoo, worked “backstage”? If not, don’t claim to know how he lived. He wasn’t hunted, eaten, abused, beaten, or exploited.

Yeah, zoos have a spotty history, but speaking as a historian I can tell you that the whole mindset of zoos has changed drastically from the19th century, even from the 1950s. If it weren’t for zoos, the situation for animals would be a lot worse.

Your sanctimony is offensive. Scotty had the right to live, as much as any other creature on the planet. Elephants have the right to survive as a species. And I hope that zoos bring more elephants into this world.

Jay G May 13, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Very sad… poor little big guy.

Andrew May 13, 2010 at 6:29 pm

to those persons saying captive animals should be free, you should remember that animals whose habitats are threatened can be maintained and possibly preserved by captive breeding and release programs.

Bryan May 13, 2010 at 6:41 pm

I don’t think these Louisville zoo animals are a part of any release program.

Trisha May 16, 2010 at 7:10 pm

The Zoo’s commitment to working with endangered species, specifically with Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs, speaks of its dedication to conservation efforts. It is also one of six institutions in the world to house a captive breeding population of Black-footed ferrets, North America’s most endangered mammal.

Alison May 13, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Please park the political posturing outside the door please. My sympathies to the elephant staff, they must all be shattered. Such a terrible loss. You are all in my thoughts.


Bradley May 14, 2010 at 2:00 am

Thank you Alison! You said what I wished to say with a lot less cursing. Whether considered entertainment or not, Scotty brought much joy to young and old alike. He will be missed.

Jeff May 14, 2010 at 12:08 am

So sad to see this news. Scotty was a favorite of my family, and we loved seeing him at the zoo. We’ll miss you little guy!

Kat May 16, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Our elephants at the Louisville Zoo are much loved and this is a devastating loss for our entire community. It is easy to say these awesome animals should not be in captivity and in a perfect world perhaps that would be so but the fact is that their habitat is shrinking and many kill them for profit. That should be where our focus is. Elephants along with so many other animals are in grave danger and zoos that properly care for their animals are not the problem!!! We loved Scotty as a community and I know the staff did as well. The fact is that educating our children by taking them to see these great animals at a reputable zoo is the best thing we can do to save those left in the wild!!!! Captive breeding is NEEDED so our great grandchildren can still see these animals in the wild down the road!!! The more awareness we raise in our children the more likely we can save them!!!! They will be more likely to stand up for these beautiful animals because of the emotion they feel for Scotty and the others in captivity!
My children and I have been visiting Scotty since his birth. On visiting the zoo on a school trip just this last Friday I observed an amazing thing, droves of school children as young as first grade leaving wild flowers for the lost baby and crying REAL tears for his passing.
Staff: you are in my thoughts and prayers!

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