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After Knut, Berlin Zoo loses young elephant

The Local · 6 Apr 2011, 10:12

Published: 06 Apr 2011 10:12 GMT+02:00

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Zookeeper Rüdiger Pankow found the elephant’s body about 7 am Tuesday morning, according to the daily Berliner Kurier. She was most likely killed by a herpes virus.

“Once again we are mourning,” said zoo spokeswoman Claudia Bienek.

Elephant keeper Andreas Ochs told the Berliner Kurier that internal bleeding discovered during an autopsy indicated that a herpes virus had killed Shaina Pali. Elephant herpes strikes very quickly, he added.

“We didn’t have a chance. Even if the virus had been discovered, the chances of curing it in the short time available would have been minimal.”

Fears have naturally arisen for the seven other elephants at the zoo, because elephant herpes can be passed via body fluids and particles that come into contact with mucus membranes. Ochs said the risk was low but it could not be ignored and the animals were being tested.

Zookeepers were particular concerned for Shaina Pali’s two-year-old sister Ko Raya whose resistance to the virus may not be as strong as that of adult elephants.

Four-year-old Knut died a little over two weeks ago. Post-mortem results released on Friday revealed he was suffering from encephalitis, swelling of the brain likely brought on by an infection. This caused him to have a seizure, fall into the pool in his enclosure and drown. His death sparked outpourings of grief.

Fans have protested against the zoo’s plan to have his body stuffed and put on display.

Story continues below…

The zoo has lost two other elephants to herpes infections – Kiba in 1998 and his son Kiri two years later.

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:19 April 6, 2011 by cheeba
We all know how herpes is spread. If they have lost animals in the past to this why wasn't she tested already? It sounds like the same neglect that prematurely killed Knut. They could have prescribed Valtrex and maybe this wouldn't have happened.
14:27 April 6, 2011 by Portnoy
The Berlin zoo: animals are just dying to get in.
08:24 April 7, 2011 by positiveguy
Herpes is one of the most misunderstood std's out there. The simple truth is that 90% of the adult population has it but doesn't realize it. If you ever get a fever blister you have herpes. The only difference between mouth herpes and the other kind is simply where it's located. It's the same virus, resting at the back of your brain untill something triggers it and you get an outbreak. There is no difference in oral herpes and the other kind, just the location, and there is no cure for herpes, though drugs such as Valtrax can stop an ourbreak once you get one. Odds are these wrestlers already had the virus and why the big to do here is beyond me. You may know more about herpes on the dating and support site positive-single. com. Good luck to you all!
21:57 April 8, 2011 by lordkorner
Allow me to misquote Wilde, To lose one Animal may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose Two looks like carelessness.
15:19 April 11, 2011 by caringstd66
Living with Herpes, HPV, HIV/AIDS or other STDs? Check out HDate.org, the official herpes support & dating site, launched in 2001, the members has passed 600,000 people, keeping it the largest online support site in America and worldwide for people living with Herpes, HPV, HIV, AIDS.
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