Pittsburgh Zoo's New Baby Elephant Develops Serious Health Issues: 'Very Concerned But Hopeful'

The elephant calf, born at the Pittsburgh Zoo's International Conservation Center in Somerset County on July 18, recently developed several serious medical conditions, according to the Pennsylvania zoo

The African elephant calf, born July 18 at the ICC, is in guarded condition. She is receiving treatment and we are hopeful about the calf’s recovery.
Photo: Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

The Pittsburgh Zoo's new baby elephant is on health watch.

According to a release from the Pennsylvania zoo, the currently unnamed elephant calf born at the Pittsburgh Zoo's International Conservation Center in Somerset County on July 18 "has developed several serious medical conditions, including insufficient weight gain, putting her overall health at risk."

The female calf is currently nursing from her mom at her off-exhibit home at the zoo's International Conservation Center. Both the baby elephant and her mother are receiving round-the-clock medical attention from the zoo's elephant caretakers. The Pittsburgh Zoo is also in contact with "renowned elephant veterinary experts," per the release, to ensure the baby animal receives the best care available.

The little elephant received a plasma transfusion over the weekend to help ease some of her medical issues and responded well to the treatment. The zoo said that the calf appears to be doing better after the transfusion but is still in critical condition.

"We are very concerned but hopeful about the calf's prospect for recovery," Dr. Joe Gaspard, the director of animal health, science, and conservation for the Pittsburgh Zoo, shared in the zoo's release. "She has several serious medical conditions that are actively being treated, but she is proving to be a fighter. Along with the attentive care she is receiving from mom, the Elephant Care and Animal Health teams are tirelessly working towards a positive outcome."

The zoo did not provide details about the nature of the medical conditions the calf is battling but did end its release with a message of thanks to animal lovers.

"We appreciate everyone's support for mom and calf as the medical and caregiving teams focus on her well-being," the zoo closed its release.

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