Pregnant St. Louis Zoo elephant loses calf

Thursday, July 8, 2010 | 6:03 p.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis Zoo elephant that had been pregnant for 36 weeks has lost her calf.

The zoo said Thursday that Ellie, an Asian elephant, was being monitored closely since Monday due to discharge and changes in her blood progesterone levels. She has previously given birth to calves in 1996 and 2006. Zoo officials discovered Thursday that the calf had been lost.

One of Ellie's earlier calves, Rani, is also pregnant and is due to deliver early next summer. Elephants have 22-month-long pregnancies.

Zoo officials say Asian elephants are endangered with just 35,000 remaining in the wild. Breeding of both of the St. Louis elephants was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Elephant Species Survival Plan.


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