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The Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus Impact & Cure

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Elephant Enthusiast, 5 Sep 2018.

  1. Elephant Enthusiast

    Elephant Enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: 5 Sep 2018
  2. Elephant Enthusiast

    Elephant Enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    It’s with great sadness that 0.1 Nandita Hi Way and 1.0 Aayu Hi Way passed away on October 25, 2018 at the Chester Zoo from the Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus.

    There’s an explanation as to why Nandita and Aayu became susceptible to the virus. With the birth of 1.0 Anjan Hi Way in May 2018, Nandita was no longer be able to nurse from her mother Thi Hi Way as the new calf took precedence over nursing. As stated in the initial post, once a new calf is born, the previous calf is no longer able to receive the vital antibodies from its mother’s milk leaving the calf vulnerable to the virus. With the death of 0.1 Sithami in September 2018, Aayu was no longer able to receive the crucial antibodies from his mother’s milk due to Sithami’s passing. Without a mother to nurse from, a calf is more susceptible to the virus. Fundamentally, elephant calves become significantly vulnerable to the virus when they’re unable to nurse.

    The Chester Zoo should be consulting institutions who have been successful in treating the virus, such as the Houston Zoo, or detecting the virus in its early stages, such as the Smithsonian National Zoo, as far to many calves have died from the virus. By obtaining information from the following institutions, the Chester Zoo will have the knowledge and techniques to best treat and identify the virus. In addition, the Chester Zoo should extend the time between the birth of one calf and another. By extending the nursing stage, the calf will be able to receive the crucial antibodies from its mother’s milk for a longer period. In the case of the Chester Zoo, a female elephant should be producing a calf every 4 to 6 years. Ultimately, the Chester Zoo needs to consult other institutions for virus detection and treatment methods and to reevaluate its elephant breeding program to ensure that NO MORE precious elephant calves die from this horrendous virus.
     
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  3. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    I learned quite a bit from your first post, but this one borders on the insulting. I'm sure that Chester have been consulting with those zoos.

    Also, with regards to your theory, how would you explain the simultaneous death of Aayu?
     
  4. Elephant Enthusiast

    Elephant Enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    My second post to this thread had NO intention of undermining the efforts made by the Chester Zoo. The Chester Zoo has done an exceptional job ensuring the health of their elephants for which I applaud them. However, with the death of SEVEN elephant calves in the past decade, it questions why so many elephant calves have succumbed to the virus. Is the Chester Zoo consulting with other institutions, including those in the US, who are also being affected by the virus? Does the Chester Zoo have the same technology as the North American institutions to test for the virus? Is the Chester Zoo taking the necessary steps to administer antiviral medication despite the lack of visible symptoms? Ultimately, the purpose of that post was to question whether the Chester Zoo is collaborating with other institutions and to suggest how the Chester Zoo could ensure the survival of their elephant calves.

    Because Nandita and Aayu were not receiving the vital antibodies through nursing, both were susceptible to the virus. There's a strong probability that Nandita and Aayu contracted the same strain of virus as both died on the same day. As stated in the initial post, “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.” I can say with confidence, that the necropsy reports will show that Nandita and Aayu succumbed to the same strain of virus.
     
  5. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate the consideration you have given to this problem and I suspect that your hypothesis about antibodies may well be proven eventually. However I would point out that one of the problems with this condition is that the virus will not respond to conventional antibiotics, which only act as antibacterials. As you say, the drugs used when the condition is diagnosed have been antiviral medications, which have been ineffective in many cases. Perhaps some way can be found to immunise elephant calves so that they can produce their own antibodies before they are weaned.
     
  6. Elephant Enthusiast

    Elephant Enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    You’re absolutely right. I unknowingly assumed that antibiotics can be created from antibodies. Because conventional antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, antibiotic medications would be ineffective in treating viral infections, such as EEHV. However, antibodies are proteins produced primarily by plasma cells that are used by the immune system to neutralize pathogenic bacteria and viruses.

    Because antibodies are able to neutralize bacterial and viral infections, I hypothesize that the antibodies in elephant’s milk have the ability to successfully treat EEHV. Since elephant’s milk is not readily available, research will need to be conducted to identify which antibodies are present in elephant’s milk. Once the antibodies are identified, the next step is to separate the crucial antibodies from the other inessential components found in elephants milk. Once that has been accomplished, the next step is to conduct research on how the antibodies neutralize the virus. Once the research is complete, the final step is to create a medication from the antibodies. Once that has been achieved, the potential cure to EEHV has been made.

    That is very plausible. 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. By strengthening their immune system or response, elephant calves could use their own antibodies to fight against EEHV.
     
  7. Elephant Enthusiast

    Elephant Enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    It's with great sadness that five year old 0.1 Asha passed away on November 24, 2018 at the Budapest Zoo from EEHV.

    There's a plausible reason as to why Asha became susceptible to the virus. With the birth of 1.0 Arun in November 2017, Asha was no longer be able to nurse from her mother Angele as the new calf took precedence over nursing. Once a new calf is born, the previous calf is no longer able to receive the vital antibodies from its mother’s milk leaving the calf vulnerable to the virus. Ultimately, this is based on speculation but it's the most probable explanation.
     
  8. Elephant Enthusiast

    Elephant Enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    It's with great sadness that five year old 0.1 Lily passed away on November 29, 2018 at the Oregon Zoo from EEHV.

    There's a plausible reason as to why Lily became susceptible to the virus. With the acquisition of Samson in April 2018, Lily was in contact with a potential carrier of the virus. Samson came from the Albuquerque Zoo where EEHV was present. Further, the elephant herd has never been effected by EEHV prior to Lily's death. It's very probable that Samson introduced a strain of EEHV that caused Lily become susceptible which resulted in her passing. Ultimately, this is based on speculation but it's the most probable explanation.
     
  9. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    It seems it may now be advisable for Zoos acquiring new Elephants, e.g a new bull, to only take one from another zoo that is presumed EEHV free as a way of possibly safeguarding against it.
     
  10. Yassa

    Yassa Well-Known Member

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    That is not going to work. There are no EEHV-free elephant herds. Research has shown that pretty much all elephants - wild and captive alike - are infected with one or serveral strains of EEHV. Even those zoo herds that never had a calf dying from EEHV (for example Hannover/Germany). Why some herds are much more affacted then others even though the virus is everywhere is the big mystery.

    It is possible that the EEVH strain that killed Lily may have been introduced by the new bull, but it is as likely that the strain was already present in her herd. The answers to the EEVH riddle are usually not as simple as one might think at first.
     
  11. Hyak_II

    Hyak_II Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. For example, at Chester, the bull Upali had 6 calves, all died age three or younger from herpes except one, his eldest daughter. Now at Dublin, he has seven calves, the eldest of which are four and a half, and all are alive and well. While that's nothing to say of what the next 4-6 years have to hold during the remaining vulnerable years, its a markedly difference between facilities.
     
  12. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps it is worth looking for some additional factor which makes EEHV manifest. Everybody noticed by now that in some herds most calves die from EEHV (Berlin Zoo, Chester). They are objectively good zoos and elephant exhibits, so there must be something else. I am no expert in epidemiology, have personally no idea. Did they try some large scale decontamination of the house (how do you decontaminate a herd of elephants?).
     
  13. Echobeast

    Echobeast Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Decontaminating wouldn’t do anything because the virus stays dormant in the elephants. There’s no way to eliminate it. Only way to save them is to find out some cure the symptoms when it becomes active or find out how to prevent it from becoming active.
     
  14. Elephant Enthusiast

    Elephant Enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    It’s with great sadness that six year old 0.1 Nyah passed away on March 19, 2019 at the Indianapolis Zoo from EEHV.

    It’s with great sadness that seven year old 0.1 Kalina passed away on March 26, 2019 at the Indianapolis Zoo from EEHV.

    Even though Kalina and Nyah are African elephants, and the thread is dedicated to impact of EEHV on the captive population of Asian elephants, their deaths are worth mentioning as very few African elephant calves have succumbed to EEHV.

    In North America, five African elephant calves have been diagnosed with or succumbed to EEHV. Only 2 African elephants have been successfully treated through antiviral medication while 3, but potentially 4, African elephants have died from the virus.


    The 1 African elephant that survived the virus:

    1.0 Samson (Willie x Lil Felix) 2008.03.19 (Maryland Zoo)

    The 4 African elephants that succumbed to the virus:

    1.0 Kijana (Smokey x Lisa) 1995.11.03 (Oakland Zoo) 1996.10.07 (Oakland Zoo)
    0.1 Miss Bets (Willie x Amy) 2007.12.08 (Riddles Elephant Sanctuary) 2019.02.09 (Fresno Chaffee Zoo)
    0.1 Nyah (Jackson x Ivory) 2012.06.28 (Indianapolis Zoo) 2019.03.19 (Indianapolis Zoo)
    0.1 Kalina (Jackson x Kubwa) 2011.07.20 (Indianapolis Zoo) 2019.03.26 (Indianapolis Zoo)

    Even though Miss Bets was diagnosed at 15 months with EEHV6 and survived, there’s a possibility that EEHV could be linked to her cause of death. Reports stated that Miss Bets started behaving abnormally and died just 36 hours after her health began to rapidly decline. The cause of death was unknown. However, it’s highly probable that Miss Bets succumbed to a strain of EEHV given the symptoms leading up to her death.

    Having potentially three young African elephants succumb to EEHV in the same year, and in a two month span, is a very peculiar. Could there be a reason as to why these African elephants became to susceptible to the virus?
     
  15. Hyak_II

    Hyak_II Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't be so quick to list Ms.Betts cause of death as due to herpes. Beside being 11 years old and outside of the most vulnerable age group, theres simply not enough evidence to list it as herpes.
     
  16. Elephant Enthusiast

    Elephant Enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    You make a valid point @Hyak_II. Given Miss Bets age at the time of her passing and the few deaths caused by EEHV in African elephant calves residing in North America, it’s unlikely that her death was connected to EEHV. However, the reason I suspected EEHV as the potential cause of death was because Miss Bets was diagnosed with a strain of virus at a young age, and her rapid decline in health was similar to that caused by EEHV. Ultimately, the necropsy results will provide explanation as to Miss Bets sudden and unexpected passing. Also, has the Fresno Chaffee Zoo made public the cause of her death?
     
  17. loxodonta

    loxodonta Well-Known Member

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    Also the Oakland calf seems quite young to have passed due to the virus. Age range doesn't really match up
     
  18. Elephant Enthusiast

    Elephant Enthusiast Well-Known Member

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  19. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    I think the answer is simply that Chester produces calves much more frequently than most zoos. They seem to have births almost yearly, so it would make sense that more calves = more deaths due to the virus. And yes, Chester is 100% consulting other zoos and doing everything in their power to try and save their animals.

    The age range susceptible to the virus is growing.

    ~Thylo
     
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  20. Elephant Enthusiast

    Elephant Enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    Promising news within the captive population of Asian elephants: Two year old 0.1 Indali at the Chester Zoo and nearly two year old 0.1 Joy at the Houston Zoo have recovered from a bout of EEHV.

    Indali Update | Zoo News | Chester Zoo
    Elephant Calf has Completed Treatment for Deadly Virus | Houston Zoo

    After testing positive through a routine blood test, both calves were treated with antiviral medications, plasma transfusions, and other immune boosting treatments. Indali underwent intensive treatment from March 20 to April 3 while Joy underwent the same from April 4 to April 12. Even though Indali and Joy are improving, their immune systems will be vulnerable for the next couple of weeks. The veterinarians and keepers will continue to monitor their health to ensure the virus is not in remission. Until the creation of a vaccine, routine blood tests, early detection, and intensive treatment are the best defenses against EEHV.