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A five-year-old elephant has fallen victim to a deadly virus at an upstate zoo — the second to die in the same week, according to a report.
Batu died early Friday morning, three days after the death of his younger brother Ajay at the Rosamund Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, according to NBC. Both elephants succumbed to Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus, a strain of herpes that targets Asian elephants.
Batu had been in treatment for more than a week when a blood test came back positive for the elephant virus. He was given blood transfusions and medication but the virus raged out of control, said the zoo’s director Ted Fox.
“Although we knew this could happen, it’s hard to accept,” Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon told NBC. “Words can’t begin to express our sadness and grief. Yet we know that as heartbroken as we are, our elephant team and our zoo need our support more than ever.”
After testing positive for the virus a week ago, Batu “laid down to rest and never got up” on Friday, said Fox.