36-year-old elephant "Little Diamond" dies at NC Zoo - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

36-year-old elephant "Little Diamond" dies at NC Zoo

Posted: Updated:
Credit: NC Zoo Credit: NC Zoo

A 36-year-old African elephant at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro has died, the zoo said Wednesday.

Zoo spokesman Rod Hackney said “Little Diamond” stopped eating and became lethargic last week and that her health declined over the next five days. She died Tuesday evening.

An animal autopsy found the elephant had an impacted large intestine as a result of ingesting sand, which is common in elephant-holding facilities and exhibits.

"Little Diamond" was well-known in the U.S. zoo community as the first African elephant born in North America. Born at the Knoxville (Tenn.) Zoo in 1978, she was transferred to the N.C. Zoo in May 1995.

She was one of seven elephants at the North Carolina Zoo. The remaining elephants – four females and two males ranging in age from 12 to 40 – are in good condition and on exhibit, Hackney said.

“Little Diamond had been part of our elephant family for 20 years,” zoo director David Jones said. “This is a very sad loss.”

Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.