Pittsburgh zoo euthanizes baby elephant

VE-World-National

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Officials at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium say they’ve euthanized a baby elephant that couldn’t be fed normally.

Veterinarians had inserted a feeding tube in the unnamed female calf because teething had caused it to stop eating. The calf was born about 30 days prematurely in May — elephants normally gestate for 645 days — and at 184 pounds (83.6 kilograms), was about 52 pounds (23.6 kilograms) underweight.

The calf’s mother at the zoo’s International Conservation Center in Somerset County rejected the calf, forcing keepers to feed the calf a combination of formula and elephant milk pumped from another female.

Although the calf responded well to the feeding tube inserted at the zoo earlier this month, it didn’t gain enough weight. Zoo officials announced Wednesday the calf was euthanized.