SAN DIEGO — A popular 59-year-old elephant at the San Diego Zoo was euthanized after suffering from health issues, the zoo announced Tuesday.
Mary, a geriatric Asian elephant, was under veterinary care to alleviate age-related joint ailments, but her mobility declined, the San Diego Zoo posted on its Instagram account.
Mary exceeded the average life expectancy of a female Asian elephant by 12 years, according to zoo officials.
“She was described by wildlife care specialists as having a uniquely dominant personality but also a peaceful presence that was a comfort to other elephants,” the zoo said. “As an ambassador for her species, Mary helped educate guests on the difference between Asian and African elephants, the threats they face, and how we adapt our care for aging animals.”
In 2009, Mary arrived at the San Diego Zoo from the Safari Park. She lived at the Elephant Odyssey habitat, which caters to elderly elephants.
Mary’s neighboring elephant, Shaba, was able to say her goodbyes after she died, the zoo said.