Scrantonians have lost an old and very dear friend. Toni the elephant, who was at the old Nay Aug Park Zoo from 1971 to 1989 (when it closed), was put to sleep at the national zoo in Washington DC Wednesday. The elephant was an icon for kids growing up in our area. "She was the gentlest animal i ever saw. I used to play football with her and we`d get down in a three point stance and crash heads together. She thought is was as much fun as I did," said George Lowry. A spokesman for the zoo tells us Toni was suffering from arthritis and severe weight loss that had virtually stripped her of any quality of life. The National Zoo is conducting an autopsy in the hope of learning more about Toni`s physical ailments so they can help other animals.