Columbus zoo announces sudden death of newborn elephant calf

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is mourning the sudden death of a newborn elephant calf.

The elephant was born at the zoo on December 6. According to the zoo, the calf died at 1:30pm Wednesday after a sudden illness.

According to the zoo, the calf was being monitored 24 hours a day by members of her care team. She was observed nursing overnight, but at 6:30 a.m. she appeared sluggish. The veterinary team determined she had an infection and administered fluids, antibiotics, and blood plasma from her mother, Phoebe. She appeared to rebound and nursed before her health rapidly declined again.

A full necropsy (animal autopsy) will be conducted and results will not be available for several weeks.

“At only a few weeks of age, this little calf had already won our hearts. She was a cherished member of our Zoo family, and we are mourning her passing,” said Columbus Zoo President/CEO Tom Stalf. “I have the privilege of working alongside amazing, compassionate and dedicated animal experts. Our team is going through an exceptionally difficult time with our recent unrelated losses, and we are appreciative of the outpouring of support we receive from near and far.”

The calf was born to mother Phoebe, an Asian elephant. The calf is the first elephant born at the Columbus Zoo in almost 10 years and the first to be born at the Zoo as a result of artificial insemination.

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