Swiss Zoo Says Endangered Elephant Calf Died Shortly After Birth

This is the sad moment a mother elephant tries to rouse her newborn baby elephant calf that later died.

The much-expected birth of an endangered Asian elephant took place at the Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park located in the eastern part of zoo Zurich on the night between 14th and 15th January.

It is home to a number of Asiatic elephants. The much-anticipated birth to the 17-year-old elephant cow Farha took place at the weekend, but the calf was born significantly weakened.

Zurich Zoo, Nicole Schnyder/Newsflash

At one point, medics used a dart to shoot medication into the baby elephant, but without success, and it passed away a short while later.

Zurich Zoo said in a statement obtained by Newsflash on 16th January: “The expected elephant birth in the Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park at the beginning of the year did not have the desired outcome.

“In the night from Saturday to Sunday, the 17-year-old elephant cow Farha gave birth to an elephant bull. Unfortunately, the calf died shortly after birth due to weakness.”

Staff said the mother and grandmother of the baby showed care and consideration as they carefully attempted to get the calf to move and drink, but without luck.

Image shows the dead elephant calf, 17.
(Zurich Zoo, Nicole Schnyder/Newsflash)
Image shows the dead calf and its mother Farha.
(Zurich Zoo, Nicole Schnyder/Newsflash)

The baby had a normal gestation period of 22 months, and it was much anticipated by zookeepers, especially as the species is endangered.

A pathological examination is expected to take place to work out the cause of death.

It is the fourth death of an elephant in the park after three elephants died from the elephant herpes virus last year.

Provisionally experts do not believe the virus was responsible for the death of the latest baby.

The Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park in Switzerland and Zurich Zoo are regarded as one of the most modern facilities in Europe, and are part of the European Endangered Species Program (EEP).

Image shows Farha, 17, giving birth in the Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park at Zurich Zoo, in Switzerland, undated photo. Her newborn calf died shortly after its birth on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. (Zurich Zoo, Nicole Schnyder/Newsflash)

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Michael LeidigSub-EditorMarija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash

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