A baby elephant born at a US zoo had to be put to sleep after being born with health problems that prevented him from feeding.
The tragic moment occurred at Missouri’s St. Louis Zoo where the staff had been overjoyed by the birth of Avi the elephant on July 6.
Sadly, the little calf was suffering from a disability that prevented him from feeding and the vets eventually had to euthanize him.
Despite their efforts to save Avi by hand-feeding him, the vets were forced to put the animal to sleep as his health continued to deteriorate.
“Everyone here is just devastated right now. Our team of professional elephant care experts did everything possible to help improve the calf’s health,” Jeffery Bonner, the zoo’s CEO and president, expressed.
“Unfortunately, in the end, it just wasn’t enough as his health complications were too severe.”
As the zoo explained, they were looking forward to the birth of Avi after waiting for his parents, Rani and Raja, to mate for several years.
According to St. Louis Zoo’s Vice President Animal Collections, Luis Padilla, the young calf’s death left everyone who worked with Avi “grieving.”
“The animal care team who worked so closely with this calf every day of his short life, and all those who loved him, are understandably grieving. Avi will be missed, but never forgotten,” he said.
“The community followed Rani’s journey from pregnancy to birth and provided support and positive thoughts for the calf and the Elephant Care Team when they learned of the calf’s developmental and health impairments.
“The outpouring of support that we have received from the community has been incredible. I know everyone joins us in our sense of loss, and that helps our team get through these difficult times.”
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