Copenhagen Zoo euthanises two-year-old Thai elephant

Vets forced to put down calf suffering from herpes virus which can prove deadly in young elephants

Veterinarians at Copenhagen Zoo euthanised a two-year-old elephant name Khao Sok on November 24. According to the zoo’s website, the young elephant was suffering from a herpes virus called Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus (EEHV).

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visits Copenhagen Zoo in 2013. Photo: Copenhagen Zoo
HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visits Copenhagen Zoo in 2013. Photo: Copenhagen Zoo

“The disease is found both in the wild and in zoos worldwide and is impossible to guard against,” said the zoo in a statement. “Over half of the elephant calves born in the US and Europe are infected with the virus, and 90 percent of those will die.”

Elephant keepers at the zoo discovered on Monday morning that that Khao Sok had become ill. Vets were called, who diagnosed the calf with the deadly EEHV virus.

Several treatments were tried, but the elephant’s condition had deteriorated so much in the night of November 24 that the decision was made to euthanise.

The parents of little Khao Sok is the male elephant Chieng Mai and the female elephant which is called Kungrao. Both were gifts to the Copenhagen Zoo from the Thai Royal Family. Chieng Mai was donated in 1962 and has since 1970 fathered all 12 elephants born in the Zoo. The mother of little Khao Sok, Kungrao, came to Copenhagen in 2001. Khao Sok was her first born.

Read more: Copenhagen Post