SANTA BARBARA (CBSLA) – The Santa Barbara Zoo’s last elephant, “Little Mac,” died Wednesday night at the age of 48.
Little Mac had to be euthanized after her condition had begun to deteriorate in recent weeks due to age-related health issues, the zoo said in a news release. The Asian elephant had lived at the zoo for nearly her entire life along with her female companion, Sujatha, who passed away last fall.
Neither had any offspring.
The pair were brought to the Santa Barbara Zoo back in 1972 from Mysore, India, in exchange for six California sea lions. Both were just one-and-a-half-years-old.
According to the zoo, Sujatha’s mother worked in an Indian logging camp and Little Mac was discovered in a forest nearby, apparently orphaned. Herb Peterson, who owned several Santa Barbara McDonald’s franchises, paid to have them flown from India. He gave her the name Little Mac.
The zoo reported that the death of Little Mac will mark the end of its 47-year elephant program.
For more details on Little Mac, click here.