In Defense of Animals, Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, and NARN held a press conference Tuesday, December 4, releasing a critical report exposing how U.S. zoos have continued to indiscriminately breed elephants and transfer them between facilities despite the known risks of spreading the deadly Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV). IDA’s report documents that the deadly virus has an 85 percent mortality rate and is responsible for at least 20 percent of the deaths of elephants in U.S. zoos over the past 25 years. The report identifies over a dozen zoos – including Woodland Park Zoo – where there is high risk for infection with the virus.

Woodland Park Zoo’s 6-year-old elephant, Hansa, died last June from herpes. The virus recently claimed the life of yet another young elephant, a 16-month old elephant named Nisha at Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri, where Chai was sent on a “breeding loan”. Four elephants at Dickerson have died from the disease.

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