Tania was just three years old when the rest of her herd was wiped out in 1978, and she has since been moved from zoo to zoo across Europe, isolated and showing signs of distress. After stints in France, Spain and Italy, she has been at Romania’s Târgu Mureș Zoo in the city of the same name, in what campaigners say, has been a cramped enclosure surrounded by the sounds of building work.
Born into the wild, she would normally be a highly social animal and rights campaigners say she may not survive much longer after being starved of the company of her own kind for decades.
Activists say her enclosure in Romania was not ready when she arrived, and she had to be kept in a tiny cage until it was finished with the noise from the building work as a constant distraction. Instead of being placed with other elephants after her family died, Tania was sold to the Plaisance-du-Touch zoo near Toulouse, south west France, where she remained isolated for around a quarter of a century.
In 2004 Tania was moved to the Terra Natura zoo in Benidorm, Spain, where she was temporarily placed with another female elephant, Khaiso, who also had a difficult past. The two quickly became inseparable.
But when the zoo got into financial difficulties she was again sold off, and in 2009 was taken to Le Barben zoo in France, whose herd did not accept her so she was moved in 2011 to Le Cornelle near Milan, Italy - where the same thing happened.
Finally she ended up where she is now, where campaigners say she has been for more than a year. Indian elephants can live for up to 60 or 70 years.
Roberta Brown, one of the activists behind the campaign, said: ‘Elephants are highly sociable beings, with very strong ties to their families. Losing her family and then being isolated must’ve had a devastating effect on Tania. ’Elephants are traditionally pack animals with close family ties but Tania lives all alone in the Romanian zoo where her conditions are inappropriate to say the least.
'She is showing signs of severe stress and has a damaged foot which is in need of treatment. She is often seen swaying from side to side and also seen rubbing her head against her enclosure which are both signs of distress in elephants.
'The floor has no drainage, and Tania has to stay with her ill feet in her own urine and faeces.
'She has had a life of misery and neglect, and to give her one last chance of some happiness at the end of days and after all she has gone through.'
A reporter contacted the zoo over the allegations but the director was unavailable for comment.