‘Our hearts are broken’: Elephant calf dies at Pittsburgh Zoo

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PITTSBURGH, Pa. — An elephant calf born at the Pittsburgh Zoo has passed away.

The zoo announced the sad news Wednesday morning.

“Our hearts are broken, it’s just devastating,” Dr. Barbara Baker, President & CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, said in the zoo’s blog. “She touched so many people in such a short time. We did everything we possibly could to care for her, but unfortunately in the end, it just wasn’t enough.”

The blog states that teething caused the elephant to stop eating, so a feeding tube was inserted so she could get the proper nutrients and vitamins. The calf initially responded well, but did not pick up.

“The humane decision to euthanize the calf was made and she passed away peacefully surrounded by her family of dedicated keepers,” the zoo stated.

The elephant was born prematurely and her mother rejected her and had no milk. The staff hand milked the calf, but she did not gain weight.

“We began to suspect a genetic abnormality or some type of malabsorption syndrome that the calf was born with, that did not allow her to absorb the nutrients as she should,” the zoo stated.

There will be a full necropsy.

For the full blog entry, click here. 


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