It’s a sad time for many West Australians as they say goodbye to Perth Zoo’s beloved female Asian elephant, Tricia.
Tricia died aged 65 on the evening of July 6, after a rapid deterioration of her health.
In a heartbreaking statement, Perth Zoo said Tricia “passed away peacefully tonight, surrounded by her loving and dedicated zoo keepers, some of whom have looked after her for decades”.
“Tricia was one of the oldest elephants in the world, and while we knew the time to say goodbye was approaching, it’s still heartbreaking,” the statement said.
While the Perth matriarch is gone, she will forever live on in the hearts of zoo patrons who visited her over the past six decades.
“She has helped generations develop an appreciation for elephants and wildlife conservation,” Perth Zoo said in their farewell tribute.
“Tricia was an icon of Western Australia and her impact on the millions of people who visited her over the years will certainly not be forgotten.”
The early days
Tricia was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on January 24, 1957, and arrived at Perth Zoo in 1963. The beautiful Asian elephant was named after the 1962 Miss Australian winner Tricia Reschke. Check out a few snaps from her early days at the South Perth zoo below.
Beloved by all
Over the years, Tricia became hugely popular among both zoo visitors and zoo keepers.
“She was cheeky and loved sneaking up on people when she was out walking around the Zoo and had everyone wrapped around her trunk!” Perth Zoo said in a farewell tribute.
Devastated West Aussies took to social media earlier in the week to pay tribute to the animal, after learning she was nearing the end of her life.
A natural artist
Some animal lovers even have art by Tricia in their homes, with the elephant becoming known for spraying paint through her trunk to create unique pieces, which are sold to help charities that protect endangered Sumatran elephants.
Tricia loved her many birthday celebrations, where her dedicated Perth Zoo Keepers would treat her to a giant birthday cake made of bran and fruits.