Memphis Zoo's elephant calf dies - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Zoo's elephant calf dies

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Monday, the staff at the memphis Zoo was celebrating the birth of a baby elephant.

"It a huge deal," spokesperson Drew Smith said. "It's the first ever calf born at the Memphis Zoo. "We are extremely happy about this."

Zoo president Chuck Brady says the 225 pound calf fell, and when Asali, it's mother, tried to put it back on its feet with her trunk, she accidentally struck the baby with her tusk. 

"They worked on the calf for an hour trying to revive it but unfortunately the injuries were too severe," Brady said.

Brady said it was important for Asali to know her baby was gone.

"After it couldn't be saved we showed her the calf and let her understand that it was dead, so that she wouldn't be confused and be looking for the calf," he said.

Asali was then taken to a secret location where handlers can monitor her closely while she grieves the loss of her newborn.

Zoo experts said Asali was a good mother, who had already been nursing and caring for her calf.  But, they said, it was her first baby, and the 7,500 pound mom just didn't know her own strength.

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