Queenie the water-skiing elephant dies

Posted June 02, 2011, at 8:07 p.m.
AP | AP

VALDOSTA, Ga. — Operators of a south Georgia theme park say an Asian elephant that gained fame by water skiing decades ago has died.

The Valdosta Daily Times reports that 59-year-old Queenie was euthanized Monday morning after her health deteriorated.

Al Kordowski, director of zoological operations at Wild Adventures in Valdosta, said the animal had suffered from declining quality of life and chronic health issues.

Queenie was born in 1952 and came to the south Georgia theme park in 2003 to live out her retirement. Park officials said she performed in the late 1950s and 1960s and was considered to be one of the oldest Asian elephants in North America.

Archival footage shows the younger elephant balancing on two attached giant skis with a trainer alongside it as a boat pulled it through the water. She also “played” the harmonica.

 

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