Beloved San Diego Zoo elephant euthanized at age 59
SAN DIEGO (Gray News) - A beloved elephant and longtime resident at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park was euthanized this week due to health issues.
Mary, a 59-year-old Asian elephant, was under veterinary care to alleviate age-related joint ailments, but her mobility recently declined, affecting her quality of life, officials with the zoo said.
“The San Diego Zoo family is heartbroken. Mary’s health and care specialists made the difficult decision to compassionately euthanize her,” the zoo shared on Tuesday.
The zoo team described Mary as a confident elephant who was very particular about her likes and dislikes, but also very gentle around her wildlife care team and guests.
Her wildlife care team said she was quiet, calm and patient while teaching other elephants arriving at the zoo.
“She brought people into contact with a wild they could only imagine, and through her care, we learned more about the behavior, physiology, and psychology of one of the world’s most iconic species,” said Greg Vicino, interim Vice President of Wildlife Care at the San Diego Zoo.
Mary’s neighboring elephant, Shaba, was able to say her goodbyes, the zoo team shared.
The average life expectancy of a female Asian elephant is 47 years old, according to the zoo.
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