The purpose of this thread is to evaluate the impact of the Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus on the captive population of Asian elephants and to propose the potential solution for the Asian elephants that are affected by the herpesvirus. Sources: Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus - Wikipedia North American Regional Asian Elephant Studbook 2014 European Asian Elephant Studbook 2015 Absolute Elephant Database, Facts & Encyclopedia Petra Prager - Elefanten-Fotolexikon The Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) is a strain of herpesvirus that, when transmitted to young Asian elephants, causes a very deadly hemorrhagic disease. In African elephants, similar forms of the virus have been identified in wild populations but only surface as small growths or lesions. The Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus is classified as a member of the Proboscivirus genus which has been responsible for numerous deaths in both captive and wild Asian elephants worldwide. There are currently six known types of the Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus with the most common being EEHV1 which consists of two subtypes, EEHV1A and EEHV1B. EEHV1A, originally known as EEHV1, was the first type of this particular virus to be identified. Later, EEHV1B was identified which led to the differentiation of the two EEHV1 subtypes. In addition to EEHV1, there have also been deaths linked to EEHV3, EEHV4, and EEHV5 in Asian elephant calves. EEHV2, EEHV3, and EEHV6 have been identified primarily in African elephants. Based on trunk wash secretions by healthy Asian elephants, EEHV1A and EEHV1B are transmitted by the saliva of Asian elephants who are shedding the virus. When an Asian elephant calf comes in contact with an adult Asian elephant who is shedding, they're susceptible to the effects of the virus. It's believed that EEHV3 was transmitted to captive Asian elephants by African elephants during inter-species contact. For this reason, zoos discourage keeping Asian and African elephants together because of cross-species transmission. There is currently no evidence that artificial insemination is a factor of transmission. When two or more calves, born to the same father or mother, died at different times, even at the same facility, they all had different strains of the virus. However, when two or more calves, born to the same father or mother, died around the same time, at the same facility, they all had similar strains of the virus. The Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus can be treated with the rapid dosage of antiviral drugs, such as famciclovir, but, in most cases, is ineffective as the disease has progressed past treatment. Only 11 Asian elephants have been successfully treated through antiviral medication while 58 Asian elephants have died from the virus. The following 11 Asian elephants are the fortunate few to have survived: 0.0 Name (Sire x Dame) Date of Birth (Location of Birth) Current Location 0.1 Chandra (Onyx x Moola) 1996-07-02 (Dickerson Park Zoo) Oklahoma City Zoo 1.0 Doc (Charlie x Alana) 1997-05-08 (Center for Elephant Conservation) Rosamond Gifford Zoo 1.0 Obert (Buke x Isa) 2003-08-20 (Endangered Ark Foundation) Endangered Ark Foundation 0.1 Maliha (Raja x Ellie) 2006-08-02 (Saint Louis Zoo) Saint Louis Zoo 0.1 Jade (Raja x Rani) 2007-02-25 (Saint Louis Zoo) Saint Louis Zoo 1.0 Barack (Doc x Bonnie) 2009-01-19 (Center for Elephant Conservation) Center for Elephant Conservation 1.0 Baylor (Thai x Shanti) 2010-05-04 (Houston Zoo) Houston Zoo 0.1 Tupelo (Thai x Tess) 2010-10-03 (Houston Zoo) Houston Zoo 1.0 Namsai (Raja x Bua) 2013-07-27 (Kolmarden Zoo) Kolmarden Zoo 0.1 Tarli (Raja x Damini) 2014-09-24 (Woburn Safari Park) Woburn Safari Park 0.1 Achara (Rex x Asha) 2014-12-22 (Oklahoma City Zoo) Oklahoma City Zoo * Unable to find primary sources stating additional Asian elephant calves in Europe were successfully treated * The following 58 Asian elephants are the unfortunate many to have died: 0.0 Name (Sire x Dame) Date of Birth (Location of Birth) Date of Death (Location of Death) 1.0 Astor (Groucho x Patty) 1981-08-20 (Bronx Zoo) 1983-01-26 (Bronx Zoo) 0.1 Lohimi (Maxi x Claudy) 1985-05-24 (Circus Knie) 1988-07-21 (Circus Knie) 1.0 Beau Thai (Thai x Methai) 1984-02-01 (Houston Zoo) 1988-08-26 (African Lion Safari) 0.1 Pearl (Thai x Indu) 1988-12-07 (Houston Zoo) 1991-09-02 (Lincoln Park Zoo) 0.1 Maiya (Onyx x Connie) 1991-07-26 (Dickerson Park Zoo) 1993-02-28 (Dickerson Park Zoo) 1.0 Maverick (Sneezy x Tooma) 1986-10-05 (Tulsa Zoo) 1993-11-26 (Tulsa Zoo) 0.1 Kumari (Indy x Shanthi) 1993-12-14 (Smithsonian National Zoo) 1995-04-26 (Smithsonian National Zoo) 1.0 Kenny (Vance x Minyak) 1994-08-19 (Busch Gardens Tampa) 1998-01-24 (Barnum & Bailey Ringling Brothers Circus) 0.1 Indira (Ramon x Irma) 1995-03-01 (Rotterdam Zoo) 1998-07-13 (Rotterdam Zoo) 1.0 Kiba (Thai x Methai) 1987-12-31 (Houston Zoo) 1998-08-30 (Berlin Zoo) 1.0 Willi (Alexander x Bernhardine) 1999-01-11 (Munster Zoo) 1999-01-12 (Munster Zoo) 1.0 Xian (Maxi x Ceyla Himali) 1997-09-08 (Zurich Zoo) 1999-11-20 (Zurich Zoo) 0.1 Singgah (Thai x Methai) 1993-12-29 (Houston Zoo) 2000-01-01 (Houston Zoo) 1.0 Kala (Onyx x Patience) 1998-05-17 (Dickerson Park Zoo) 2000-11-29 (Six Flags Discovery Kingdom) 1.0 Plai Kiri (Kiba x Pang Pha) 2000-04-05 (Berlin Zoo) 2000-12-28 (Berlin Zoo) 1.0 Haji (Onyx x Moola) 1999-11-28 (Dickerson Park Zoo) 2002-06-07 (Dickerson Park Zoo) 1.0 Senang (Alexander x Bernhardine) 2002-01-20 (Rotterdam Zoo) 2002-12-20 (Rotterdam Zoo) 0.1 Preya (Indy x Romani) 2000-02-10 (Rosamond Gifford Zoo) 2003-04-12 (Rosamond Gifford Zoo) 1.0 Aishu (Maxi x Ceyla Himali) 2000-06-10 (Zurich Zoo) 2003-10-15 (Zurich Zoo) 0.1 Jennie (Buke x Isa) 1998-09-06 (Endangered Ark Foundation) 2004-04-12 (Endangered Ark Foundation) 0.1 Kimba (Thai x Methai) 1991-07-17 (Houston Zoo) 2004-09-05 (Houston Zoo) 1.0 Stillborn (Luka x Yu Yu Yin) 2005-05-28 (Port Lympne Wild Animal Park) 2005-05-28 (Port Lympne Wild Animal Park) 1.0 Sitang (Luka x Khiang Phyo Phyo) 2002-06-30 (Port Lympne Wild Animal Park) 2005-08-15 (Port Lympne Wild Animal Park) 1.0 Ganesh (Sabu x Jati) 1998-03-15 (Cincinnati Zoo) 2005-08-16 (Columbus Zoo) 1.0 Logan (Rex x Lilly) 2006-04-13 (African Lion Safari) 2008-03-24 (African Lion Safari) 0.1 Aneena (Emmett x Kaylee) 2004-03-16 (Whipsnade Zoo) 2006-12-17 (Whipsnade Zoo) 0.1 Hansa (Onyx x Chai) 2000-11-03 (Woodland Park Zoo) 2007-06-08 (Woodland Park Zoo) 0.1 Nisha (Sabu x Moola) 2006-07-18 (Dickerson Park Zoo) 2007-12-01 (Dickerson Park Zoo) 0.1 Malti (Spike x Maharani) 2007-08-09 (Calgary Zoo) 2008-11-01 (Calgary Zoo) 1.0 Mac (Thai x Shanti) 2006-10-01 (Houston Zoo) 2008-11-09 (Houston Zoo) 1.0 Donaldson (Emmett x Azizah) 2008-01-17 (Whipsnade Zoo) 2009-05-03 (Whipsnade Zoo) 0.1 Leelee (Emmett x Kaylee) 2007-01-19 (Whipsnade Zoo) 2009-05-17 (Whipsnade Zoo) 1.0 Raman (Upali x Thi Hi Way) 2006-11-12 (Chester Zoo) 2009-07-23 (Chester Zoo) 1.0 JP (Tusko x Rosie) 2006-12-12 (Have Trunk Will Travel) 2010-06-22 (Have Trunk Will Travel) 0.1 Shaina Pali (Victor x Pang Pha) 2005-06-15 (Berlin Zoo) 2011-04-05 (Berlin Zoo) 1.0 Ganesh Vijay (Emmett x Noorjahan) 2009-08-06 (Twycross Zoo) 2011-04-13 (Twycross Zoo) 0.1 Ko Raya (Victor x Pang Pha) 2009-03-15 (Berlin Zoo) 2011-05-27 (Berlin Zoo) 0.1 Arwen (Ant Bwe Lay x Homaline) 2012-05-29 (Pont Scorff Zoo) 2013-06-24 (Pont Scorff Zoo) 0.1 Jamilah (Upali x Thi Hi Way) 2011-01-22 (Chester Zoo) 2013-07-03 (Chester Zoo) 1.0 Nayan (Upali x Sithami) 2010-07-18 (Chester Zoo) 2013-07-29 (Chester Zoo) 1.0 Khao Sok (Chieng Mai x Kungrao) 2013-02-25 (Copenhagen Zoo) 2014-11-24 (Copenhagen Zoo) 0.1 Daizy (Albert x Rozana) 2009-09-02 (Albuquerque Zoo) 2015-05-09 (Albuquerque Zoo) 1.0 Max (Emmett x Karishma) 2013-10-13 (Whipsnade Zoo) 2015-06-05 (Whipsnade Zoo) 0.1 Bala (Upali x Sithami) 2013-01-21 (Chester Zoo) 2015-09-14 (Chester Zoo) 0.1 Malee (Sneezy x Asha) 2011-04-15 (Oklahoma City Zoo) 2015-10-01 (Oklahoma City Zoo) 1.0 Hari (Upali x Sundara) 2012-11-25 (Chester Zoo) 2015-10-27 (Chester Zoo) 0.1 Jade (Chang x Nina) 2008-05-04 (Le Pal Zoo) 2015-11-30 (Le Pal Zoo) 0.1 Mumba (Nikolai x Thong Tai) 2011-06-18 (Artis Zoo) 2015-12-07 (Artis Zoo) 0.1 Sumitra (Calvin x Vishesh) 2014-02-04 (Ostrava Zoo) 2016-01-23 (Ostrava Zoo) 1.0 Mike (Romeo x Angelica) 2013-06-27 (Center for Elephant Conservation) 2016-01-25 (Center for Elephant Conservation) 1.0 Buba (Ganapati x Samicuta) 2013-03-02 (Madrid Zoo) 2016-03-02 (Selwo Nature Park) 1.0 Nate (Romeo x Sally) 2012-12-15 (Center for Elephant Conservation) 2016-10-30 (Center for Elephant Conservation) 0.1 Rubi (Ryuto x Ruka) 2015-03-04 (Okinawa Zoo) 2018-01-22 (Okinawa Zoo) 0.1 Kenzi (Raja x Rani) 2011-06-24 (Saint Louis Zoo) 2018-02-24 (Saint Louis Zoo) 0.1 Qiyo (Chang x Khaing Phyo Phyo) 2015-06-16 (Planckendael Zoo) 2018-05-28 (Planckendael Zoo) 1.0 Kanja (Gajendra x Kandy) 2016-01-11 (Tierpark Hagenbeck) 2018-06-06 (Tierpark Hagenbeck) 0.1 Anjuli (Gajendra x Yashoda) 2015-07-13 (Tierpark Hagenbeck) 2018-06-13 (Tierpark Hagenbeck) 0.1 Tukta (Gung x Pak Boon) 2010-11-02 (Taronga Zoo) 2018-09-03 (Taronga Zoo) I discovered something rather interesting while researching the North American and European Asian elephant populations. Most calves who have died from EEHV, passed away during the weaning stage or the mother was nursing a new calf. During the nursing stage, the calf is receiving crucial antibodies from the mother's milk but once the calf is weaned or a new calf starts nursing, the previous calf is no longer obtaining those crucial antibodies to keep it protected. In addition, scientists have recently discovered that the T cells, immune cells that fight against disease, of Asian elephant calves may not be strong enough to fight against EEHV. I hypothesize that as long as a calf is receiving the crucial antibodies from its mother's milk, the calf will be protected from the effects of EEHV. However, you're probably asking yourself: How can the mother reproduce if she has to nurse a single calf until the calf can create its own protective antibodies? Here's the potential solution: Scientists and Pathologists will research what antibodies are present in the milk of an Asian elephant. Once those antibodies can be found, the next step is to separate the antibodies from the other components of elephant's milk. Once the antibodies can be successful separated, the plan is to create an antibiotic. Once an antibiotic is successful created, the potential cure, or medicine, to EEHV has been made. It's an audacious hypothesis but we need to try anything to ensure that NO more Asian elephant calves die from this horrible disease. This is how the antibiotic would be used: Once an elephant has given birth, the mother should nurse her calf for two to four years. If the calf fails to nurse or the mother rejects the calf, the calf will start taking the antibiotic immediately to ensure they're receiving the crucial antibodies. A prime example of the situation described previously would be 0.1 Sumitra (Calvin x Vishesh) 2014-02-04. Sumitra was rejected by her mother Vishesh and had to be hand raised by the Ostrava Zoo keepers. Sumitra thrived, despite never receiving milk from Vishesh, but sadly at nearly two years old, Sumitra died from EEHV. If an Asian elephant calf doesn't receive milk from its mother, the calf is at a much greater risk of EEHV. Once the calf is naturally weaned from the mother or the mother is pregnant with another calf, the calf should start taking the antibiotic to ensure they're still receiving crucial antibodies. Along with the antibiotic, routine blood tests should be conducted on a weekly basis to ensure the antibiotic is working and the virus is remaining dormant. Once the elephant calf has reached sexual maturity or demonstrates its ability to create its own antibodies, the now adolescent elephant should be taken off the antibiotic. The process should be used for ALL Asian elephant calves regardless of little to no EEHV presence. I truly hope this thread will enable others to learn about the effects of the Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus, to contribute their thoughts and opinions about the creation of a cure, and to spread the message of hope for this amazing species.