A 41-year-old elephant died at the Miami Zoo Wednesday of what appears to be severe constipation.
Maude, an Asian elephant, stopped eating and having bowel movements last week, Miami Zoo communications director Ron Magill told the Miami Herald. She was undergoing treatment for a digestive issue when she collapsed and died.
The elephant, Maude, reportedly began eating sand and clay, which elephants do in the wild when they need minerals. But that diet turned out to be fatal, even after zoo workers tried a number of treatments. Magill also said that Maude suffered from arthritis, making it difficult for her to move around and keep her digestive tract active — and ultimately, her consumption of sand and clay, packing her insides, is thought to have killed her.