Heartbreaking possibility

Calgary Zoo’s Maharani may be knocked up.

If blood tests confirm the pachyderm is indeed expecting a third calf, there’s a heartbreaking possibility the newborn will fall ill to the same disease that killed Maharani’s last offspring, Malti, in 2008.

The 15-month-old animal died of endotheliotropic herpesvirus, or EEHV, a fatal virus that attacks the circulatory system and can kill within hours of infection. Only a handful of elephants have survived the illness through treatment.

Since Malti’s death, animals rights activists have criticized the Calgary Zoo for continuing its elephant breeding program, arguing it’s irresponsible to put the lives of future animals at risk.

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