Heartbreaking Loss: St. Louis Zoo Mourns the Passing of a 27-Day-Old Elephant.-HoangGA

Heartbreaking Loss: St. Louis Zoo Mourns the Passing of a 27-Day-Old Elephant.-HoangGA

In a somber announcement on the St. Louis Zoo’s website, Jeffrey P. Bonner, Ph.D., and Dana Brown, the president and CEO, expressed their devastation over the passing of a 27-day-old elephant named Avi.

Despite the tireless efforts of the Elephant Care Team to address the calf’s health issues, his severe complications proved insurmountable.

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The Elephant Care Team had dedicated nearly three years to preparing for Avi’s arrival and chose the name, meaning “the sun and air,” during that period.

Luis Padilla, vice president of animal collections at the Saint Louis Zoo, acknowledged the deep grief felt by the team and those who loved Avi, emphasizing that the calf would be remembered fondly.

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He noted the incredible support from the community, which had followed Rani’s journey from pregnancy to birth and had provided encouragement when learning about the developmental and health challenges Avi faced.

Padilla further highlighted the critical situation facing Asian elephants, with less than 35,000 remaining in the wild and confronting extinction due to challenges like poaching for ivory and habitat destruction.

Avi was Rani’s third offspring, with previous births including Jade in 2007 and Kenzi in 2011, although Kenzi passed away at the age of seven in 2018. The father, 27-year-old Raja, was the first Asian elephant born at the St. Louis Zoo in 1992.

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Providing insights into elephant pregnancies, the zoo’s statement mentioned that they last about 22 months, and newborns typically weigh between 250-350 pounds. Rani received regular prenatal health checkups throughout her pregnancy from the zoo’s elephant care team.

The veterinary team at the zoo has announced plans for a comprehensive necropsy on Avi, with results expected in the coming weeks.

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