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San Diego Zoo Elephant Dies

One of the two elephants brought to the San Diego in a trade with counterparts in Tucson in February was euthanized due to an infection, the San Diego Zoo announced today.

"Connie,'' an Asian elephant at the San Diego Zoo.

Above: "Connie,'' an Asian elephant at the San Diego Zoo.

"Connie,'' an Asian elephant believed to be 45, was put down after a thorough veterinary examination that included specialists, the zoo's Yadira Galindo told City News Service.

She said Connie had suffered a series of infections in its urinary tract and reproductive organs in recent years, but they always cleared up with medication.

This time, the veterinarians found a lot of fluid and tumors, she said.

"The infection was much stronger and her immune system couldn't fight it off this time,'' Galindo said. She said Connie's condition had deteriorated to the point where her quality of life was affected.

The pachyderm came from the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, along with 32-year-old Shaba, an African elephant. The move quelled a controversy in the Arizona city over an original plan to separate the two, which had spent three decades together.

According to Galindo, experts say Asian elephants can live as long as 55 to 60 years.

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