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Young Elephant Dies Suddenly From Herpes, Taronga Zoo Staff 'Heartbroken'
An 8-year-old Asian elephant died suddenly on Monday, September 3, at Taronga Zoo Sydney after it suffered from a case of Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus.
The zoo posted to Facebook explaining that Tukta began showing symptoms of illness on Monday morning and passed away later in the afternoon. They said the virus, present in most elephants both wild and in captivity, only causes illness in some young elephants. When the virus does cause illness, it is almost always fatal, they said.
Taronga Zoo director Cameron Kerr told The Daily Telegraph staff were devastated. “Our hearts are broken by Tukta’s sudden and unexpected loss,” he said.
In this video, posted by the zoo in August 2017, Tukta can be seen playing with her younger brother Jai Dee. The zoo said Tukta’s herd would mourn her loss for several days.
Credit: Taronga Zoo Sydney via Storyful