INDIANAPOLIS — “Our hearts are broken.” said Indianapolis Zoo President Dr. Rob Shumaker in a statement for Indie Channel.
His comments came Tuesday after the zoo announced that, for the second time in two weeks, one of its young African elephants had died.
8-year-old Kalina passed away, three days after first showing signs of the virus EEHV.
Last week, 6-year-old Nyah died of the same virus.
Shumaker said zoo staff “worked around the clock” hoping to save the animals.
According to the zoo, EEHV is one of the most deadly viral infections found in elephants worldwide, but is most common in Asian elephants.
The virus causes fatal bleeding and strikes without warning, according to Shumaker.
He called it a “very aggressive disease.”
Shumaker said the zoo’s six remaining elephants have not shown any signs of the virus.
“Words cannot describe the emotional impact this is having on zoo staff,” said spokesperson Jury Palermo. “Everyone in our zoo family is devastated.”
The zoo issued additional information on the animal deaths in this release.