Oldest elephant at Tennessee sanctuary turning 70 - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Oldest elephant at Tennessee sanctuary turning 70

HOHENWALD, Tenn. (AP) - This is a birthday to remember.

News outlets report Shirley the Asian elephant is turning 70 at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee on Friday.

The elephant's milestone is significant: The average lifespan is 42 years for captive Asian pachyderms and 47 for captive African elephants.

Caregiver Kaitlin Stocks told The Tennessean the 4-ton (3.6-metric-ton) elephant exudes love despite the tough life she has led.

Shirley was born in Sumatra, captured at age 5 and sold to a traveling circus where she performed for more than 20 years. She lived at a Louisiana zoo for 22 years before coming to Tennessee.

The sanctuary is celebrating Shirley's birthday with #ShirleyTurns70 on social media and an elephant-sized snack: a number 70 made of bamboo strung with flowers and produce.

Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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