SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBS4) - Officials at Zoo Miami are mourning the death of an African Elephant named Machito after rapidly declining health forced a humane euthanization.
Spokesperson Ron Magill said Machito, a 32 year old pachyderm, was in poor health and took a turn for the worse recently. Magill said Machito began having leg stiffness, then progressed to weight loss and lethargy.
Magill said veterinarians at the zoo tried numerous treatments and held round the clock vigils to improve Machito's health. The decision was made to humanely euthanize the elephant after his condition made it impossible for him to sit or lie down.
The death of Machito was the first in the zoo's 32 year history.
An out-of-state specialist will be traveling to Zoo Miami to assist in Machito's necropsy.
Machito had been at Zoo Miami since arriving as a one year old calf in November 1981. He was born in the wild in Zimbabwe in early 1980 and was abandoned as result of a culling program which eliminated the adults in his herd.
Zoo Miami's elephant exhibit consists of females Peggy and Maybel, both 36 years old, and three Asian elephants including one male, Dahlip (46 years old) and two females, Nellie (43 years old) and Maude (39 years old).
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