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Tuesday, 22nd January 2013
In General Japan News,

Japanese zoo celebrates housing oldest Asian elephant

Animal lovers will no doubt be pleased to hear that a zoo in western Tokyo is home to the oldest elephant held in a Japanese institution.

The animal named Hanako, which is housed at Inokashira Park Zoo, is 66 years-old, making her the third-oldest creature of its kind in the world, and a party was held in her honour to mark the event. 

Some 800 people attended the celebrations, which took place on Sunday January 20th, and Hanako was given a bread and fruit cake. 

Etsuo Narushima, head of the zoo, said: "She is a star loved by many."

Meanwhile, Akito Yokoi, a ten-year-old from Mitaka who had attended the party, said that he was "amazed to see her so spry despite her old age", possibly referring to the dance that she performed as part of the celebrations.

The zoo also has a library owned by the Japanese poet Ujo Noguchi and a museum dedicated to the Japanese sculptor Seibo Kitamura.

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