Oklahoma City Zoo announces elephant's unexpected death

Oklahoma City Zoo announces elephant's unexpected death

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla._The Oklahoma City Zoo has announced the unexpected death of one of their Asian elephants.

The zoo announced that 4-year-old Malee, an Asian elephant, died early Thursday. They say zoo keepers noticed she was moving slower than normal on Wednesday, but she was eating and otherwise acted normal. Around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, zoo keepers grew concerned when they noticed discoloration around her mouth and started treatment for elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus.

Following a prescribed protocol, Malee was given a second treatment for EEHV around 1:00 a.m. Thursday. Her condition had not changed at the time, but she did decline rapidly afterward and died at approximately 4:00 a.m.

An animal autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death, which may take some time.

Malee was the first elephant born at the zoo. Zoo officials say she quickly became a favorite. They also say all other zoo animals are doing well at this time.

Zoo officials ask for everyone to keep the zoo family, especially Malee's care team, in your thoughts during this difficult time.