In Memory of Dulary

November 1963 ~ December 23, 2013

It is with great sadness that The Elephant Sanctuary must announce the passing of Dulary, one of our resident Asian elephants.

At the beginning of this year, Dulary began experiencing some intermittent health issues. The Sanctuary’s elephant care and vet staff administered a treatment plan that included multiple medications and even an elephant “corset” crafted especially for Dulary out of burlap coffee bags. Soon she was feeling much better, and we happily celebrated her 50th birthday in May. Although Dulary continued to experience some health issues, she had been active with a good appetite in recent months.

Dulary was discovered lying down in the barn early Sunday morning, December 22nd. There had been no indication of any problems during the previous evening when caregivers checked in on the elephants in the Asian barn. All elephant care and vet staff were immediately alerted and quickly reported to the barn. Efforts to help Dulary stand were unsuccessful, and she was given supportive care while further diagnostic testing was performed. Philadelphia Zoo veterinary staff was consulted on Dulary’s condition, and Sanctuary staff provided round the clock monitoring throughout the night. Dulary passed away peacefully on Monday morning, surrounded by those who loved her. Sanctuary staff then left the area and Dulary’s companions, including her best friend Misty, were allowed in to be with her.

Born in 1963, Dulary made the Philadelphia Zoo home in 1964. During her time at the zoo, she lived with both Asian and African elephants. In 2006, after determining there was insufficient funding to build a new elephant habitat suitable for housing an expanded herd, the Philadelphia Zoo relocated its elephants and Dulary was sent to The Elephant Sanctuary. She arrived on May 1st, 2007.

Dulary easily assimilated into Sanctuary life, and after only two days of exploring her new home and meeting new companions, she comfortably lay down to take a nap, with Misty diligently watching over her as she slept. Dulary, Misty, and Delhi became an inseparable group, and she and Misty provided comfort to each other upon Delhi’s passing one year later. Misty and Dulary remained the closest of friends, rarely spending time apart, until Dulary’s passing.

In India, “Dulary” is a term of endearment intended for someone who is an object of great affection and love, and our Dulary will always hold a special place in our hearts. Strong-willed and self-confident, she quickly became a part of The Sanctuary family, and lived her new life to the fullest every day. She will be remembered with joy by all of those whose lives she touched. We are honored to have been a part of her journey.

Namaste, sweet Dulary

Add your Tribute to Dulary

Update on Misty : Shirley and Tarra have remained close to the barn and close to Misty since Dulary's passing. Caregivers report that at times Misty will move off by herself but Shirley and Tarra have stayed within view. Shirley and Misty have been observed leaning against each other in the barn at night. Everyone recognizes this as a time when Misty is having to adjust to the loss of Dulary. All have been giving Misty a lot of extra attention and encouragement and are pleased to see Shirley, Tarra, and Misty strengthening their relationships.


DularyBorn: November 1963
Birthplace: Thailand
Birth status: wild born

Height: 8' 6"
Favorite Food: Sugar Cane

In India, "Dulary" is a term of endearment, intended for someone who is an object of great affection or love - it is often used in the context of a doting parent's love for their child.

She arrived at the Philadelphia Zoo in May of 1964, weighing only 300 pounds. She has lived with both African and Asian elephants most of her life.

In July 2005, she suffered an injury near her right eye during a shoving match instigated by an African elephant she had previously gotten along with. She's recovered completely from the injury and has sight in that eye. Since the injury, she's been housed next to, but not with the Africans due to concerns that there could be additional negative interactions and potential for injury.

As you can see in the photo, Dulary loves the water. She's also very "talkative."

Dulary Loves the Water
    Photograph of Dulary courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo.

What a gem Dulary is! She has been steadily acclimating to her new environment, new elephants and new caregivers. She is independent but spends time with the other elephants, especially Misty and Tarra. She is a strong-willed, self-confident individual—all traits that make her a prime candidate for life at the Sanctuary. After only a month, she has begun to interact in a respectful way with her caregivers—a cause for celebration.