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Young elephant at Saint Louis Zoo dies of viral infection

February 24, 2018

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A popular Asian elephant at the Saint Louis Zoo has died.

The zoo says 6-year-old Kenzi died of a viral infection — elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus, or EEHV — known to be fatal to elephants.

Zoo officials say Kenzi was diagnosed with the virus on Feb. 20 and immediately given anti-viral medication. She died early Saturday morning.

Kenzi was born in captivity to two other zoo elephants, Raja and Rani.

All of the elephants at the zoo are under close monitoring for the virus, and none have tested positive. Experts believe elephants younger than 7 are most susceptible to the virus. A 4-year-old elephant at the zoo is being treated with medication as a precaution.

Asian elephants are an endangered species, with fewer than 35,000 left in the wild.

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