Reba, Asian elephant at Phoenix Zoo, dies at 51

The Phoenix Zoo says Reba, one of its Asian elephants, was humanely euthanized following a decline in her health.

The zoo says Reba had undergone various treatments for arthritis and inflammation for years. Recently, she exhibited decreased levels of activity, mobility, and an increase in discomfort.

To further assess Reba's overall quality of life, the zoo installed cameras to monitor her and given her decline in health, the decision was made to euthanize her.

“Reba is incredibly intelligent and probably most well-known as the elephant who enjoys a firehose shower during our Winter in July celebration,” says elephant manager Heather Wright. “She has a larger than life personality and is by far the most vocal elephant in the barn. Her squeaks, rumbles, and trumpets will be missed by everyone who knows her. There really are no words to convey how much her loss will mean to those who know and love her. Reba is one of a kind and will be missed beyond measure.”

Reba has been a fixture at the Phoenix Zoo for more than 20 years and arrived in Phoenix from the Ringling Brothers Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida in 1999. 

The zoo has created a memorial page dedicated to Reba with messages from her caretakers.

She was 51.

Rest in peace, Reba.