Endangered Asian Elephants

2022 Words9 Pages
Most Americans have been to a zoo or aquarium at some point in their lives. They spend the whole day outside with their friends and family looking at all the animals from all over the world. For most people, zoos are the only way they will ever be able to see these amazing animals in person. However one animal that lives in zoos across the country may not be there in a couple years.
The number of African and Asian elephants in North American zoos is declining as a result of many medical issues. A new disease has recently been discovered that is now hindering elephant’s ability to survive even further. This is a major problem because according to Science Magazine, as of 1997, there are only an estimated 291 Asian elephants and 193 African
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The next noticed case was in 1996. The disease had attacked an eleven month old male African elephant in California (Table 1, Case 2). This elephant only survived three days before the disease killed him. The third case that was noticed was in 1997. The disease attacked a seventeen month old Asian elephant in Missouri (Appendix, Case 3).
After these three cases, scientists started to become curious as to why all of these elephants were dying. They started to search through different sources to try and find similar cases where an elephant had died from an unknown disease, and that their symptoms matched those that the three previous cases had shown. They started their search by looking through the elephant studbook mortality records for both African and Asian elephants, which are held by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The studbook mortality records for Asian and African Elephants are books that hold all records about all elephants that have ever lived and currently live in North American zoos. The books tells the name of the elephant, its sex, shows its family tree, birth date and birth place, every zoo or organization that it has lived in throughout its life, death date and death place, and reason for death. After the scientists searched through all of the records, they started to establish a definition for the disease and a loose definition of symptoms. They then
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