MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Montgomery Zoo lost a star in one of its main attractions over the weekend.
Mary, an elephant in the zoo's collection, died Saturday just days after giving birth to a male African elephant calf. She was 23-years-old.
Zoo officials say a preliminary necropsy showed that the elephant died of complications due to colic with intestinal rupture.
Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks says the Department of Agriculture and Industries' Diagnostic Lab in Auburn helped with the necropsy.
"The unfortunate loss of such a grand animal is a reminder of how important diagnostic ability is to veterinary health," said Sparks. "Knowledge is essential whether you are dealing with animal, plant or human health. Without it, we might not be able to determine the presence or cause of such illnesses as BSE or avian influenza."
Officials are now focusing on the orphaned calf. Zoo officials say the baby, which has not yet been named, is "doing great".
The youngster is being bottle-fed until it can be integrated with the rest of the elephant herd.