The San Diego Zoo is saying goodbye to Mary, a 59-year-old elephant. 

The Asian elephant was compassionately euthanized after age-related joint ailments affected her daily activity, the zoo said Tuesday on Facebook. She had been under veterinary care, including receiving hydrotherapy and physical therapy, “for some time” before her death, the zoo said.

Mary lived at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park from 1980 until the spring of 2009, when she arrived at the San Diego Zoo, located a little over 35 miles south of the safari park.

“Wildlife care specialists described her as having a uniquely dominant personality but also a peaceful presence that was a comfort to other elephants,” the zoo wrote. “As an ambassador for her species, Mary helped educate guests on the difference between Asian and African elephants, the threats they face, and how we adapt our care for aging animals. Mary’s physical therapy and palliative care also made her a relatable presence for humans experiencing similar ailments.”

The average life expectancy for a female Asian elephant is 47 years, according to the zoo. Asian elephants are classified as endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.

“After Mary had passed, Shaba, who lived with Mary, had the opportunity to see her and make her goodbyes,” the zoo wrote. “Shaba will have her choice to socialize with neighboring elephants Nipho and Sundzu.”  

Mary lived at the zoo’s Elephant Odyssey habitat, which features a care center equipped to help elderly elephants. 

“Mary’s gentle presence will be greatly missed,” the zoo wrote on Facebook.