Staff at an Indiana zoo has expressed heartbreak following the unexpected death of two young elephants. Within a span of less than one week, the Indianapolis Zoo lost the two youngest elephants in their herd. The first to die was Nyah, a six-year-old African elephant who passed away on March 19 after a short illness. The second to die was eight-year-old Kalina, another African elephant who exhibited symptoms similar to Nyah’s – she died on March 23.
The Indianapolis Zoo staff believes that both elephants died from elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV). The zoo described the deadly disease to Facebook followers:
EEHV is a type of herpesvirus that can cause fatal hemorrhagic disease in elephants. It is one of the most deadly viral infections in elephants worldwide but is most commonly found in Asian elephants. It occurs in elephants in the wild as well as those in human care such as in sanctuaries and zoos. EEHV can strike without warning.
The deaths have left those at the Indianapolis Zoo heartbroken. The Zoo wrote about the emotional impact while announcing the death of Kalina:
We are devastated to announce that a second African elephant in our herd, Kalina, died earlier today. Words cannot describe the emotional impact this is having on our Zoo family.
A necropsy is being conducted on both elephants to confirm the cause of death.
Find the Indianapolis Zoo on Facebook at this link.
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