Santa Barbara Zoo’s elderly elephant Little Mac euthanized
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — The Santa Barbara Zoo’s 48-year-old Asian elephant, Little Mac, has been euthanized after a sharp decline in her health.
The zoo says Little Mac was euthanized Wednesday night in her exhibit yard, surrounded by keepers and staff.
Little Mac came to the zoo from India in 1972 with another female Asian elephant, Sujatha, who was euthanized last year.
Little Mac was named by Herb Peterson, the owner of several local McDonald’s restaurants who paid for the airline flight. At the time she was a 1½-year-old, 4-foot-tall (1.2-meter) apparent orphan.
The zoo says her decline began in June with the onset of new medical issues in addition to other problems common in geriatric elephants.
Her death marks the end of the Santa Barbara Zoo’s elephant program.