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Saint Louis Zoo says elephant calf is showing signs of improvement, remains in intensive care

On July 16, the zoo announced the elephant calf was having trouble feeding
Credit: Madi Culbertson

ST. LOUIS — A bit of good news for Saint Louis Zoo’s newest elephant calf.

The zoo said its elephant calf has shown signs of getting stronger over the last couple of days, but he remains in intensive care.

On July 16, the zoo announced the elephant calf was having trouble feeding. He was born on July 6 and is having “developmental impairments that have limited his ability to feed since birth."

RELATED: Saint Louis Zoo says new elephant calf has 'developmental impairments', is having trouble feeding

“Our elephant calf has shown signs of getting stronger over the last couple of days, however, he remains under intensive care. Recent efforts have focused on maintaining his hydration, electrolyte and nutritional status, although his feeding instincts remain underdeveloped. Our Elephant Care Team of keepers and veterinarians continue to work around the clock to provide the calf with all his needs. We appreciate your continued support and positive thoughts,” the zoo posted on its social media.

He’s still unnamed and is the son of 23-year-old female, Rani and 27-year-old male, Raja, who was the first Asian elephant to ever be born at the zoo back in 1992.

RELATED: Meet Saint Louis Zoo's newest elephant

Asian elephant conservation information from the Saint Louis Zoo

There are fewer than 35,000 Asian elephants left in the wild, and they are facing extinction due to poaching for ivory and habitat destruction. 

Given the shrinking population of Asian elephants, the Saint Louis Zoo is committed to conserve this endangered species. 

The Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute Center for Asian Elephant Conservation supports the welfare and conservation of Asian elephants in Sumatra and other countries in Asia through the International Elephant Foundation. The Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute Center for Conservation in the Horn of Africa also supports conservation of African elephants in Kenya through the Northern Rangelands Trust.  

“Elephants in the wild face a growing number of threats, and elephants in zoos provide a genetic safety net should wild populations continue to decline,” said Pilgram-Kloppe.