Baby elephant died of heart failure
The Calgary Zoo is learning more about the death of Malti the baby elephant.
The little pachyderm died this weekend, less than a week after being diagnosed with elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus (EEHV).
The disease kills by attacking the cells that line an elephant's blood vessels in the heart, liver and other organs.
The virus hits suddenly and causes internal bleeding and heart failure, killing the animal within a few days.
The virus seems to lie dormant in adult elephants and is spread through secretions.
Zoo doctors completed the post mortem Saturday night and have confirmed that Malti died from acute heart failure and shock.
They will be doing more tests on Malti's remains and will consult other zoos to understand more about the disease.
The Elephant Crossing at the zoo is open to the public and officials are encouraging Calgary kids to bring mementos and letters to the enclosure.
Malti is the second baby elephant to die at the Calgary Zoo.
A calf who was born to Maharani, Malti's mother, died when it was just weeks old in 2004.
The disease has also been diagnosed in the wild and only four elephants are known to have survived EEHV.