Story By: Kathryn Quinn, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Video Credit: CEN/ Zoo Leipzig
This adorable eight-month-old baby elephant named Ben that delighted zoo visitors with his water antics has died after its mum rejected it and refused to feed it her milk.
Elephant calf Ben Long had to be put to sleep by vets at Leipzig Zoo in the city of Leipzig in the eastern German state of Saxony after he failed to recover from an illness.
The calf was being treated by specialists from the Leipzig University for over a week before a decision was made that no more could be done for him.
Ben was rejected by his mother Hoa at birth and was cared for by his aunts Don Chung and Rani.
As the elephant was unable to get milk from his mother, it posed a problem for zoo staff and his blood levels had to be frequently controlled.
According to the zoo, Ben was not getting enough nutrients and his liver was failing.
Zoo director Professor Joerg Junhold said: “Our treatment options were limited by his blood values. We did everything possible to try and stabilise him and we hoped right until the end that he would make a recovery.
“The decision to put him to sleep was a very difficult one, but we had to put him out of his suffering.”
Zoo vet Dr. Andreas Bernhard said: “We tried new treatments and called in external support to try all possible options. Despite everything during our intense fight, we were unsuccessful.”
After he was put to sleep, his aunts Don Chung and Rani said goodbye to him and the rest of the herd spent a long time with him, according to the zoo.
In June, the zoo released a video of Ben splashing in the water after zookeepers had a hard time keeping him out.
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