SANTA BARBARA (CNN NEWSOURCE) – The Santa Barbara Zoo says it’s last elephant was euthanized after a series of health issues.
The zoo says Little Mac, a 48-year-old Asian elephant, died Wednesday in her exhibit yard surrounded by her keepers and other zoo workers who cared for her over the years.
After two weeks of sharply declining health, the zoo decided to enter Little Mac into hospice care several days before her death.
Little Mac’s mate, Sujatha, was euthanized nearly a year ago, also due to health issues related to old age.
A zoo spokeswoman said Little Mac was the last elephant the zoo will ever have.
That’s because current regulations require far more room than the zoo has, so the zoo’s elephant program and exhibit will be permanently closed.
Little Mac’s name is a play on words on the McDonald’s Big Mac.
The owner of several McDonald’s locations in Santa Barbara paid for Little Mac and Sujatha to fly in from India and got the naming rights for one of them.
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