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Pittsburgh zoo euthanizes baby elephant with feeding issues

In this July 7, 2017, photo, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium’s 4-week-old baby elephant meets the public for the first time at the elephant family room windows in Pittsburgh. (Andrew Rush / Associated Press)
In this July 7, 2017, photo, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium’s 4-week-old baby elephant meets the public for the first time at the elephant family room windows in Pittsburgh. (Andrew Rush / Associated Press)
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH – A Pittsburgh zoo says a baby elephant that had a feeding tube inserted to help it gain weight has been euthanized.

Officials at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium announced Wednesday that the unnamed female calf had died.

The calf was born about 30 days prematurely in May, and at 184 pounds, it was about 52 pounds underweight at birth.

The calf’s mother at the zoo’s International Conservation Center in Somerset County rejected the calf, forcing keepers to feed it a combination of formula and elephant milk pumped from another female.

Teething caused the calf to stop eating. It responded well to the feeding tube inserted earlier this month, but it didn’t gain enough weight.

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