Bronx Zoo euthanizes 48-year-old elephant

NEW YORK — The Bronx Zoo says it has euthanized a 48-year-old Asian elephant that had fallen progressively ill.

The zoo said it decided to euthanize Maxine on Monday after exhausting all options and determining she was no longer able to eat. It said she had neurologic deterioration and generalized muscle weakness. (Julie Larsen Maher)

The zoo said it decided to euthanize Maxine on Monday after exhausting all options and determining she was no longer able to eat. It said she had neurologic deterioration and generalized muscle weakness.

Bronx Zoo Director Jim Breheny said Maxine, who came to the zoo in 1973, “died a peaceful death, surrounded by the keepers, curators and veterinarians who had cared for her throughout her life.”

The zoo has two remaining elephants, 47-year-old Happy and 48-year-old Patty. Breheny said the zoo will assess its elephant program following Maxine’s death.

Last month, an animal welfare group brought legal against the zoo, claiming Happy has similar rights to a human being and is being unlawfully imprisoned.