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A male African elephant, who arrived at Zoo Miami when he was just a calf, was euthanized after undergoing weeks of unsuccessful treatments, zoo officials said.
Machito, who was 32 years old, is the first elephant to die at the zoo in the facility’s history. His illness, which is yet to be diagnosed, began as a front stiff limb and progressed to lethargy, weight loss and trouble breathing. Machito recently was unable to sleep or lie down.
Zoo officials said they euthanized Machito when he was past the point of recovery and when they could no longer prevent him from suffering. Results from a necropsy may take months to obtain.
Machito, who was orphaned due to a culling program, came to Zoo Miami from Zimbabwe when he was 1 year old. At the zoo, Machito made friends with Peggy and Maybel, female elephants about four years older than him that still remain at the zoo.
The zoo is home to five other elephants, including three Asian elephants, all over 36 years old.