A male elephant at the Hanoi Zoo died Saturday due to a large tumor in his abdominal area.
The 30-year-old animal collapsed at around 5:30 a.m. and died around three hours later despite the zoo workers' efforts to revive it.
Nguyen Cuc Phuong, deputy director of the Hanoi Zoo, said they had found a tumor, 20 by 25 centimeter, in its abdomen since April.
"We are yet to identify what kind of tumor. We gave it several pain killers and a dose of antibiotic," she said, adding that the elephant, K'rong, sometimes had muscle retractions and was in pain.
Last month, the zoo reported to its overseer, the city Construction Department, about the health condition of the elephant, including tiredness and high body temperature. The zoo workers collected blood samples but tests could not identify the sickness.
The zoo received the elephant from the Vietnam Circus Federation in 1990. It
An autopsy is being performed to identify the cause of the death before the pachyderm's remains are sent to the Nature Museum in Hanoi.
After K'rong's death, the zoo has only one female elephant, Thai, who also looks very thin and weak.
According to a study by the Tay Nguyen University, Vietnam had 82 captive elephants in 2011, down from 600 in 1980 and 165 in 2006. The number of wild elephants in 2009 was estimated at between 83 and 100.
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