A 50 year old Asian Elephant, Sunda and and African Elephant, Tembo are being kept at the Topeka Zoo, Kansas, in a tiny, inadequate exhibit.
They spend the long winters standing indoors on hard flooring and Sunda feet are subject to chronic infections. Chronic infection can make its way into the bone and kill her. Chronic foot problems are known to be a leading cause of death for elephants in zoos.
The zoo’s medical records indicate that Sunda has a history of recurring foot disease, and the USDA has repeatedly cited the Topeka Zoo for elephant care problems, going back to 1998. The zoo currently faces formal charges by the USDA that include providing "minimally appropriate husbandry" for the elephants and failure to inspect their feet as frequently as necessary.