Baby Elephant Was Put Down, Euthanized

Only four short days after the Pittsburgh Zoo tweeted that the baby elephant’s appetite was coming back and her feisty personality was returning, they put up a blog post informing everyone that the calf was euthanized.

For over a month, the Elle the baby elephant was having difficulty teething. On August 24, 2017, the zoo reported that a feeding tube was being used to give nutrients to the calf because it was starting to lose weight. She was 52 pounds below the average weight.

As explained by the zoo:

When teething caused the little elephant to stop eating, the decision was made to insert a feeding tube so keepers and veterinary staff could provide her with the necessary nutrients and vitamins her body needed. While initially the calf responded well to the feeding tube, her weight did not pick up consistently. The humane decision to euthanize the calf was made and she passed away peacefully surrounded by her family of dedicated keepers.Pittsburgh Zoo

Local news headlines will lead readers to believe that the baby elephant simply “died” out of no where. The playful calf did not just die or pass away. It was put to sleep, put down, put out of its misery, destroyed… the plug was pulled.

It’s a tough time for the zoo and elephant caretakers. While most folks trust that the zoo did all that they could for the calf, the blog post contained a surprisingly combative statement:

We expect there will be criticism and accusations from those with limited information and no animal care experience. Sadly, these individuals seek to benefit their own agendas by misrepresenting the realities of a tragic situation and demanding action based on misinformation.

Perhaps it’s because of disagreements over elephant handling at the zoo in the past and present.

They concluded the post by backing up the decision to euthanize the calf and reassured the public that the zoo is committed to providing the best care for each individual animal.

The Zoo wishes to thank all those who have expressed their support, prayers, and well wishes for the little calf over the past several months.

What we know for certain is that it’s a sad day for animal lovers in Pittsburgh, and going to be a difficult time for the other elephants. These fascinating beings are the largest land animals on the planet, and their hearts are even bigger. Elephants are very emotional creatures and it’s going to be a tough time for the rest of the herd.

Our advice? Head over to the zoo to show your support to the other elephants if you can!