COLUMBUS, Ohio– The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium says the passing of an elephant calf is unrelated to the recent deaths of three giraffes.
The 3-week-old female elephant died from a bacterial infection, the zoo said on Thursday. The Columbus Zoo also announced the decision to name her Ellie, which received the most votes in a contest.
Staff members were monitoring the young elephant 24 hours a day and noticed she was sluggish Wednesday morning. The vet team gave her fluids, antibiotics and blood plasma, but she passed away.
The Columbus Zoo said the calf’s mother, Phoebe, is adjusting well, as are the other female elephants, Rudy and Sunny.
“Understandably, the elephant calf’s sudden death has raised some questions about the previous giraffe deaths at the Zoo in the past six weeks; however, these cases are unrelated,” the zoo said in a news release.
According to the zoo, giraffe calf Ubumwe died of a virus on Nov. 17. Then on Dec. 4, Cami the giraffe delivered a stillborn calf. Veterinarians performed a rare C-section to try to save the adult, but she died four days later.
“Our animal care experts experience great joys working on behalf of endangered species to help make a positive difference for the future of wildlife. While we have had many successes, we also feel the heartache when circumstances do not turn out as planned and hoped,” the Columbus Zoo said.