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Baby elephant dies 27 days after his birth at St. Louis Zoo

A baby Asian elephant named Avi had died after struggling with health problems since the day he was born.
27-day old baby elephant died at the St. Louis zoo Sunday.
27-day old baby elephant died at the St. Louis zoo Sunday.(St. Louis Zoo)
Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 9:16 PM EDT
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(CNN) -A baby Asian elephant named Avi had died after struggling with health problems since the day he was born.

The male calf lived for only 27 days and had developmental impairments limiting his ability to feed, said the St. Louis Zoo in a statement Sunday.

“Everyone here is just devastated right now,” said Dana Brown President and CEO, Saint Louis Zoo. “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.”

According to the zoo, Avi was euthanized and “passed away peacefully” Sunday morning.

The calf was near his mother, Rani, since he was born on July 6 and after weeks of life support measures by the Elephant Care Team, his health deteriorated rapidly over the weekend.

The zoo’s veterinary team said it will conduct a full necropsy on the elephant, and the results won’t be available for several weeks.

The team caring for Avi had prepared for his birth for three years, as he was part of an ongoing project to continue his species.

According to a statement, elephant pregnancies take about 22 months. His mother Rani was bred with a male elephant named Raja, the first Asian elephant to be born in the zoo.

The zoo said there are less than 3,500 Asian elephants left in the wild and they face extinction because of ivory poaching and habitat destruction.

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