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Third elephant tests positive for virus at Dublin Zoo



Third elephant tests positive for virus at Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo has confirmed that a third elephant has tested positive for a virus which has left two other elephants dead over the last ten days.

Eight-year-old Avani and seven-year-old Zinda died from Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV), in recent days.

The zoo has now said that Asha, the 17-year-old Asian elephant and mother of Zinda, has tested positive for EEHV.

It said Asha’s age “may be an advantage in this situation”.

“Being older, her body has had more time to develop antibodies to fight the infection, potentially giving her a greater chance of survival,” it said in a statement.

“Our dedicated veterinary team is working tirelessly to provide Asha with the best possible care, and we are closely monitoring her condition. EEHV is a serious and unpredictable illness, but with early detection and the right treatment, we are hopeful for a positive outcome.”

Currently, the other elephants in the zoo’s herd are not showing signs of EEHV, however the zoo has said staff are “closely monitoring their health”.

Asha, Dublin Zoo’s 17-year-old Asian elephant has contracted the EEHV virus

The virus is a type of herpes and can lie dormant for years before causing symptoms.

It has a very high mortality rate in animals under ten years old.

The virus is common in both wild and captive elephants and is “particularly aggressive”, founder of Global Elephant Care Gerry Creighton told RTÉ News following Zinda’s death.

The entire elephant herd is being monitored – particularly the youngest female Samiya who is almost ten years old, the zoo said, adding that all are currently well.

Dublin Zoo said that it does not know when the viral outbreak will end but stressed there was no risk to any other species at the zoo or to visitors.

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