MIAMI, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- A 41-year-old Asian elephant living at Zoo Miami died after suffering from a severe digestive impaction, zoo officials said.
The elephant, named Maude, stopped eating and having bowel movements last week, and later began eating sand and clay -- something zoo spokesman Ron Magill said elephants often do in the wild to get minerals they need, The Miami Herald reported.
Maude died Wednesday morning while receiving treatment for her condition.
"It was very abrupt, very traumatic for everyone. Elephants are very charismatic, they're considered very intelligent animals. There's something magnificent about them," Magill said.
A partial necropsy performed on Maude showed her digestive tract was packed with sand and clay.
Maude was the second animal to die at the zoo this week, following the death Tuesday of a male lion born in September.
The cub was one of three born in September, and the second to die. He went into cardiac arrest and died, days after experiencing weakness and trembling in his hind legs, the zoo said.
The surviving cub, a female, was being treated for similar symptoms, the newspaper said.