41-year-old Zoo Miami elephant dies of severe constipation

MIAMI - A 41-year-old Zoo Miami elephant is dead.

Officials say the Asian elephant named Maude died Wednesday of what appears to be severe constipation.

Zoo communications director Ron Magill told The Miami Herald the elephant began behaving strangely last week. She stopped eating and having bowel movements.

Magill says Maude started eating sand and clay, which is what they do in the wild to get minerals they need. It turned out to be fatal for Maude. Zoo workers tried a number of treatments.

Magill says Maude also suffered from arthritis making it difficult for her to move around and keep her digestive system active.

The elephant collapsed and died during a treatment session on Wednesday. A partial necropsy revealed her digestive system was packed with sand and clay.

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