Hanako,the saddest elephant in the world,died in Japan.For more than 60 years she lived in a small concrete pen at the Inokashira Zoo in Tokyo.There was no grass or trees in her pen:she didn’t see any other elephants either.
Visitors of the zoo,outraged by the condition of Hanako’s detention called the park «one of the most cruel and archaic zoos.»Despte the international wave of indignation,the park refused to release Hanako into the reserve claiming that she was happy and healthy.
On Thursday morning,Hanako was found unconscious.They tried to move her to show the veterinarians,but a few hours later she died.She was 69 years old,born in Thailand,at the age of only two,she was transported to Japan to replace elephants who died in Japanese zoos during World War II.
A few years after coming to Japan,she appeared in Inokashira Park,where she spent the next six decades of her life.This week she left — just as she spent most of her life:alone,in a naked and lonely prison.She was the oldest elephant in Japan,who was in captivity from a young age and never recognized neither grass,nor land,nor friendship with other elephants.
Rest in peace,Hanako.