Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.
Download food monster: the biggest, baddest, yummiest vegan food app!
single

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR Newsletter

  GET FOOD MONSTER AppX

There is sad news at The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical center this week as they mourn the loss of one of their baby elephants, Malee. Much beloved by the public, Malee was the first elephant born in the zoo, back in 2011. On Wednesday, handlers noticed him moving a little slower than normal and also noted discoloration around his mouth. He was pronounced dead on Thursday afternoon. Although they are still awaiting test results to announce the official cause of death, it is believed to have been endotheliotropic herpes, or EEHV, which causes internal bleeding in elephants. Babies between one and four years old are the most vulnerable to this highly contagious elephant disease.

elephant and baby in zoo

 

This sad news has sparked some controversy, due to a long-running debate about EEHV in captive elephant populations. Both Malee’s mother Asha and her sister Chandra were known to have had the illness. However, back in April, two new elephants were transferred to the Oklahoma City Zoo from Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. These elephants, Bamboo and Chai were also known to have the disease and there was some concern about them passing it on to Malee and his 9-month-old sister, Achara. In the end, staff made the decision to continue with the transfer regardless of the risk of disease, an oversight that may have cost poor Malee his life.

baby elephant malee2

 

Unfortunately, death and disease is all too common in captive elephant populations. The infant mortality rate is shockingly high among zoo animals and it is estimated that only one in three will survive. Not to mention, captive elephants suffer from a number of conditions that are uncommon in the wild. In addition to EEHV, they are known to suffer from crippling arthritis, foot infections, obesity, and infertility. There are also a number of physiological illnesses that affect these animals as well, which are most commonly know as neurotic, repetitive behaviors.

While wild elephants have the same life expectancy as a human, 75 years, the average life expectancy among captive animals is only 20-30 years. The bottom line is that elephants do not do well in captivity. They are highly intelligent, social animals who crave open space and stimulation just as much as humans do. Hopefully, the death of Malee will draw attention to some of these issues.

Alyne Fortgang, co-founder of the Seattle-based Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants told the Seattle Times, “All breeding must stop at zoos which have had elephants who have had, or been exposed to, EEHV. Anything less is unethical.”

All image source: The Seattle Times

Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

Tiny Elephant Who Desperately Ran After His Family But Got Lost Is Now Safe (PHOTOS)

Japan Is Illegally Hunting Whales Yet Again — Let’s Get the U.N. to Step In and Stop These Global Crimes!

Sweet Story of Molly, a Formerly Abused Pit Bull, Shows Why Breeding Dogs Is Never Okay (PHOTOS)

UK Government Moves to Tax Single-Use Plastics After Being Inspired by ‘Blue Planet II’!


Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

0 comments on “Another Baby Elephant Dies in Captivity. When Will People Realize Elephants Don’t Belong in Zoos?”

Click to add comment


Subscribe to our Newsletter




Follow us on


Do Not Show This Again

×

Submit to OneGreenPlanet


Terms & Conditions ×
  GET FOOD MONSTER APPX