On May 9, 2015, a virus claimed the life of Daizy. The virus, elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV), is a highly fatal hemorrhagic disease when transmitted to young Asian elephants.
EEHV has been identified by researchers in both captive and wild Asian elephants, with the first fatal case positively identified in 1995.
The disease is about 80% fatal in young elephants, but antiviral treatments have been effective in some cases. Strains of herpesvirus are widespread in all mammals, including humans. The virus is often latent, or hidden, in the host, yet can come out of latency, showing mild signs or no signs of the disease.
Current research indicates that the elephant-specific herpesvirus may have been in elephant populations for tens of millions of years, just as human herpesviruses have been in human populations. Since this is a naturally occurring disease, every elephant in the wild and in human care-probably carries one or more forms of elephant herpesvirus within them.
If you would like to contribute to help support the ABQ BioPark, please contact the NM BioPark Society.
The Zoo welcomed Daizy, the female Asian elephant calf, on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009 at 1:43 a.m. As a newborn, she tipped the scales at a whopping 318 pounds! She was the second elephant born at the Zoo; her mother Rozie was the first.
Girl Scouts can earn a special Daizy Patch by learning more about elephants.
A First-Time Mother
Rozana (Rozie) is a great mother and has learned from her own mother Alice and the herd's matriarch Irene.
Rozie was born at the ABQ BioPark Zoo on November 8, 1992. Her mother, Alice, and father, Ranchipur of the San Diego Zoo, have no other living offspring.
The calf is the result of artificial insemination with sperm from three donors. The father is Albert, one of the bull elephants at the Zoo.
In the wild, male elephants are not part of the matriarchal herd after they reach maturity. They live in bachelor herds or on their own. They interact with females only to mate.
Daizy was a wonderful big sister to Rozie's second calf, Jazmine, who was born on October 2, 2013. With Daizy's help, Jazmine learned what it means to be an elephant.
Hope for Asian Elephants
Rozie's pregnancy was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan for Asian elephants. Because Rozie has no siblings, she is genetically unique. Her calves add to the diversity and strength of the North American population of Asian elephants.
The ABQ BioPark is an accredited member of AZA and a designated Elephant Breeding Facility. The AZA strives to maintain a self-sustaining population of the endangered elephants in North America.
The ABQ BioPark is committed to supporting elephant conservation both at home and abroad, and we strive to
- Provide excellent care for the BioPark's elephants
- Connect BioPark visitors to our natural world
- Educate visitors about threats to wild elephants
- Promote conservation through special events and activities
- Support elephant conservation efforts around the world
Each year, the ABQ BioPark provides thousands of dollars from privately-raised revenue to support field projects in Asia and Africa through the International Elephant Foundation.