PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A baby elephant at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium has died.
Last week, the elephant calf had stopped eating due to teething. A feeding tube was inserted and the elephant was said to be regaining her “feisty personality.”
However, the initial progress stopped. As a result, officials consulted with experts around the world and decided to humanely euthanize the calf.
“When we spoke with them, they assured us that it was a normal occurrence for calves who are teething to not have an appetite and to lose weight,” Pittsburgh Zoo President and CEO Dr. Barbara Baker said. “But they also warned us that sometimes the little calves can’t recover from the weight loss and they pass away as a result.”
The calf was born a month early at the zoo’s International Conservation Center in Somerset County. She weighed only 184 pounds when born, which is 52 pounds below the normal median birth weight.
“Our hearts are broken, it’s just devastating” Dr. Baker said. “She touched so many people in such a short time. We did everything we possibly could to care for her, but unfortunately in the end, it just wasn’t enough.”