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Taronga Zoo saddened by sudden death of their three-year-old Asian Elephant

Taronga Zoo saddened by sudden death of their three-year-old Asian Elephant
October 14, 2020

The Taronga family is devastated to advise of the sudden death of their beloved three-year-old Asian Elephant, Jai Dee early yesterday afternoon at Taronga Zoo Sydney.

On Monday morning, Taronga Elephant Keepers notified the Taronga Wildlife Hospital that Jai Dee was presenting with abdominal pain. The Taronga Veterinary team responded immediately and administered medication to ease symptoms. By midday Jai Dee was displaying normal behaviours again. He was kept under close monitoring and provided with medication based on observations, but unfortunately his condition deteriorated rapidly yesterday morning and despite a full emergency response he could not be saved.

Senior Veterinarian, Dr Larry Vogelnest, said that Jai Dee’s passing was a tragic loss and is an incredibly difficult time for all involved adding “this was a very sad and sudden event. The preliminary cause of death has been identified as a torsion in the intestines, or twisted bowel as it is sometimes called. This can happen in other species not just elephants and is often fatal.”

Taronga Director and Chief Executive, Cameron Kerr said the team are in a state of deep shock and grief advising “the entire Taronga family is in mourning for Jai Dee, and no doubt the other elephants will be mourning his loss as much as we are. He was part of our Zoo family and we are beyond devastated by his loss. Our immediate focus turns towards supporting our ZooKeepers through this difficult period, which for them is like losing a family member.

“In his time with us, his cheeky spirit and playful antics including a fondness for swimming has endeared him to guests both locally and from around the world.

“His name in Thai means ‘heart’ and today we lost a piece of Taronga’s heart by his sad passing”.

Jai Dee was born at Taronga Zoo in May 2017 and has lived with his mother Pak Boon and Aunt Tang Mo.

Taronga Zoo Sydney guests are encouraged to leave a message of condolence and support for the Elephant Keeper team on the Taronga Zoo Sydney Facebook page.

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