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Ohio zoo announces the Asian elephant calf dies following a ‘sudden illness’

The Asian elephant was born on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 in Powell, Ohio.
(AP)

An Asian elephant born at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio in early December, has died, zoo officials announced Wednesday.

The elephant, a woman succumbed to a “sudden illness,” zoo officials said in a press release.

“The calf is monitored 24 hours a day by members of the care team. She was observed nursing during the night, but at 6:30 p.m. she appeared to be slow. The team of veterinarians determined she had an infection and administered fluids, antibiotics and blood-plasma of her mother, Phoebe,” zoo says in the press release, noting the 3-week-old animal “appeared to rebound and nursed for her health rapidly declined again.”

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A necropsy, an animal autopsy will be performed on the elephant to better determine what the exact cause of death. But the results are not available for “several weeks,” the zoo said.

“In just a few weeks old, this little calf had already won our hearts. She was a valued member of our Zoo family, and we are in mourning her passing,” Columbus Zoo President and CEO Tom Stalf said in the press release. “I have the privilege of working with amazing, involved, and dedicated animal experts. Our team is going through a particularly difficult time with our recent nothing to lose, and we are grateful for the outpouring of the support we receive from near and far.”

The elephant, which was not yet named, was born on Dec. 6.

THE ASIAN ELEPHANT BORN AT THE OHIO ZOO, WAS CONCEIVED THROUGH ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION, OFFICIALS SAY

The calf was the first elephant to be born at the zoo in nearly 10 years, The Columbus Dispatch reported at the time. Phoebe, a 31-year-old Asian elephant, created the calf after she was artificially inseminated with sperm from two different male elephants. It is not yet clear what the father of the calf.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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