Elephant Dies at Chester Zoo

29 July 2013, 12:25 | Updated: 29 July 2013, 13:00

In a statement on their website, Chester Zoo confirm that three year old Nayan has passed away.

The elephant was taken ill a few days ago, and although had been making a recovery, he deteriorated this morning (Mon) and passed away.

His death comes just weeks after two-year-old Jamilah also died, a post-mortem examination confirmed that she died from an illness called elephant elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV). This affects both wild and captive elephants aged between one and four years of age.

The Zoo say that the the reason for Nayan’s death will be the subject of a post-mortem and it is too early to speculate as to the cause. Testing for EEHV will be carried out as part of the post-mortem.

The rest of the elephant herd remain in good health and can be seen out on the paddock as normal.

Dr Mark Pilgrim, Chester Zoo's Director General and Chair of the Elephant Welfare Group, said: “This is devastating news for all of us at the zoo. The loss of two young elephants has a profound effect on everyone who works so hard to provide the best level of care for the herd. Just days ago, Nayan was happy and healthy and enjoying life.

“Although it is too early to be sure of the cause of Nayan’s death, EEHV hits elephants both in the wild and in zoos. This year, there have been a number of reported cases of EEHV in elephants in America and in Europe and currently there is no cure or vaccination.

“It is important to note that this virus does not discriminate between zoo elephants and elephants in the wild. It affects them all and we will continue to support the research into this in the hope that one day a vaccine can be found to help the endangered Asian elephant.”