The Santa Barbara Zoo's 48-year-old Asian elephant, Little Mac, died Wednesday.
The zoo said Tuesday that Little Mac had been receiving hospice care after a sharp decline in her physical condition in the past two weeks.
The zoo says she had intermittent gastrointestinal issues, lost weight, exhibited lowered activity levels and loss of appetite, among other problems common in geriatric elephants.
The zoo said they started monitoring Little Mac's behavior in January after the passing of her companion, another female Asian elephant, Sujatha. The study said that she was thriving in her environment even without Sujatha.
Top news of the day
The zoo's animal experts said they believe her declining heath was directly associated with her old age.
Little Mac came to the Santa Barbara Zoo in 1972 with Sujatha, who died on Oct. 16, 2018, at age 47.