Syracuse, N.Y. - The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is mourning the sudden death of its youngest elephant calf, Ajay.
The elephant died from EEHV, a lethal strain of herpes that targets Asian elephants. EEHV, or Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus, is the biggest killer of young Asian elephants and can cause death within 24 hours in those under age 8.
Ajay, who would have turned 2 this coming January 15, was the beloved baby of the zoo’s elephant herd and the second calf born at the zoo to his mother, Mali, and father, Doc. His big brother, Batu, age 5, remains in treatment for the virus and is still at risk.
(Photo courtesy of Rosamond Gifford Zoo)