Community remembers Winkie the Vilas Zoo elephant

Community remembers Winkie the Vilas Zoo elephant

The Alliance for Animals will host a memorial gathering for Winkie the former Vilas Zoo elephant , who died in May.

Winkie lived in Madison from 1966 to 2000. She was 51 years old when she died in an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee, according to a release from Alliance for Animals.

Winkie was born in Burma in 1966 and was captured when she was 1 year old and sold to the exotic animal trade, which brought her to the Vilas Zoo, according to the release.

Local citizens and animal welfare activists worked to call attention to the poor living conditions of the two zoo elephants, Winkie and Penny, and the USDA ordered both elephants to be moved, or that their quarters be significantly improved, according to the release.

After Winkie and Penny were moved to the elephant sanctuary, Vilas Zoo permanently closed the elephant exhibit, according to the release.