Greenville Zoo's sick, elderly elephant dies - FOX Carolina 21

Greenville Zoo's sick, elderly elephant dies

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Elephants Joy and Ladybird at Greenville Zoo (Greenville Zoo / Facebook) Elephants Joy and Ladybird at Greenville Zoo (Greenville Zoo / Facebook)
A photo of Ladybird (Greenville Zoo) A photo of Ladybird (Greenville Zoo)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The Greenville Zoo said held a press conference Tuesday to announce the death of one of their elephants.

The zoo announced in February that Ladybird, one of the zoo's African elephants, was undergoing treatment and close observation for a medical condition.

Ladybird was monitored following an episode of colic or abdominal pain as a result of the change in weather. The zoo said she had been receiving supportive care, including oral fluids and high-fiber foods and showed some signs of improvement.

"It's easy to forget that at 44 years old, Ladybird was considered elderly for an elephant," said Dr. Heather Miller, Greenville Zoo Deputy Administrator for Animal Health. "Despite being a geriatric elephant, she was doing well for her age until a couple of months ago when she began showing signs of age-related medical issues, including arthritis and other joint-related issues."

Then on Monday, zoo staff found Ladybird was discovered lying down in her barn and would not stand, even with help. The veterinary staff determined it was necessary to euthanize her.

Ladybird was taken to the University of Georgia exotic animal service where a necropsy will be performed and results will likely take two to three weeks.

Ladybird was brought to the Greenville Zoo in 2006 from the Lion Country Safari Wildlife Park in Loxahatchee, FL. She was brought as a companion to Joy, the zoo's other 44-year-old female African elephant.

The zoo said they will monitor Joy closely over the next few days. They said they will also talk with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums about transferring Joy to another zoo since AZA regulations prohibit zoos from holding single elephants.

Additionally, the zoo said plans are underway to phase out the elephant exhibit because of changing guidelines.

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