Egypt's Giza zoo loses Naima, its last elephant

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Egyptian children pet the elephant “Naima” at the Giza Zoo near the capital Cairo. (File/AFP)
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An official at the Giza zoo announced the death of the 40 year-old African elephant “Naima,” who was popular among visitors, after suddenly falling sick earlier on the same day. (File/AFP)
Updated 08 October 2019

Egypt's Giza zoo loses Naima, its last elephant

  • The African elephant, died Sunday after suddenly falling ill
  • A forensics report showed she had suffered a severe clot in the heart

CAIRO: The Egyptian capital's Giza zoo has announced the death of its last elephant, Naima, who spent around 36 of her 40 years in captivity.
The African elephant, a star of the neglected zoo, died Sunday after suddenly falling ill, a day after having been active and playing with visitors.
"Top veterinarians... gave her the required medications... but she did not respond," Mohammed Rajai, who heads the government's central authority for zoos, told AFP.
A forensics report showed she had suffered a severe clot in the heart.
Her fans were quick to react on social media. "I loved her a lot," one user said in a Facebook post, while another wrote: "God relieved you, Naima darling".
Rajai said on television that elephants in captivity generally have shorter lives than those living in the wild.
"Elephants especially are social animals who usually live among their community," he said.


World’s oldest pearl found in Abu Dhabi

Updated 52 min 7 sec ago

World’s oldest pearl found in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI: An 8,000-year-old pearl that archaeologists say is the world’s oldest will be displayed in Abu Dhabi, according to authorities who said Sunday it is proof the objects have been traded since Neolithic times.
The natural pearl was found in the floor of a room discovered during excavations at Marawah Island, off the capital of the United Arab Emirates, which revealed the earliest architecture found in the country.
“The layers from which the pearl came have been carbon dated to 5800-5600 BC, during the Neolithic period,” Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism said.
“The discovery of the oldest pearl in the world in Abu Dhabi makes it clear that so much of our recent economic and cultural history has deep roots that stretch back to the dawn of prehistory,” said its chairman Mohamed Al-Muabarak.
The excavation of the Marawah site, which is made up of numerous collapsed Neolithic stone structures, has also yielded ceramics, beads made from shell and stone, and flint arrowheads.
The “Abu Dhabi Pearl” will be shown for the first time in the exhibition “10,000 years of Luxury” which is opening on October 30 at the Louvre Abu Dhabi — the outpost of the famous Paris museum.
Emirati experts believe that the pearls were traded with Mesopotamia — ancient Iraq — in exchange for ceramics and other goods. They were also likely worn as jewelry.
“The Venetian jewel merchant Gasparo Balbi, who traveled through the region, mentions the islands off the coast of Abu Dhabi as a source of pearls in the 16th century,” the culture department said.
The pearl industry once underpinned the economy of the United Arab Emirates, but the trade collapsed in the 1930s with the advent of Japanese cultured pearls, and as conflicts rocked global economies.