ST. LOUIS — Avi, a male Asian elephant calf born last month at the St. Louis Zoo, has died, officials said.
The 27-day-old elephant was euthanized Sunday.
"Everyone here is just devastated right now," Jeffrey P. Bonner, president and CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo, said in a statement. "Our team of professional elephant care experts did everything possible to help improve the calf's health. Unfortunately, in the end, it just wasn't enough as his health complications were too severe."
Avi was born July 6 with "developmental impairments" that limited his ability to feed. Despite efforts to help with feeding, Avi did not improve. His health deteriorated rapidly in the last two days.
While Avi was less than a month old, veterinarians at the zoo had prepared for the calf’s birth for nearly three years. Elephant’s pregnancies last up to 22 months.
Avi was the third calf to mother Rani. Jade was born in 2007. Kenzi, who died in 2018, was born in 2011. Avi was the fifth calf for father Raja, the zoo’s bull elephant.