PORTLAND, Ore. ̵ 1; Portland residents and animal rights activists plan to rally at Oregon Zoo on Saturday night to…
PORTLAND, Ore. ̵
1; Portland residents and animal rights activists plan to rally at Oregon Zoo on Saturday night to protest against the captivity of the zoo after the Lily elephant died on Thursday.
The rally and vigil are scheduled to start at 17:00 outside Oregon Zoo.
Activists plan to protest and “light up the Oregon Zoo with forecasts and expose the zoo’s history of elephant abuse.”
Activists will represent several groups, including Care2, Free the Oregon Zoo Elephants, Out to Farm Sanctuary and Portland Animal Save.
“We are heartbreaked to hear if the Lily child’s elephant passes the Oregon Zoo,” said Lacey Kohlmoos, organizing strategist at Care2. “No animal deserves to die in captivity.”
The activists will be associated with concerned Portland citizens who say they are angry at the lack of care of the elephants at Oregon Zoo and who want to see the remaining elephants released to a
Oregon Zoo issued the following statement in response to the rally :
“Our hearts go out to this group along with everyone else who knows Lily’s loss today. Our whole society is sad. We pray that anyone who wishes to honor Lily’s memory please join us to support National Elephant Herpesvirus Laboratory to help find a cure for this disease that kills young elephants both in our zoos and in nature. “
In its release Friday, Oregon Zoo said that Lily died of endothelial electropic herpesvirus, a rapid advance and often fatal disease. Elephant calves are particularly susceptible to it.
EEHV is present in almost all Asian elephants, both in wild populations and in captivity. It only causes weak or no symptoms, but for unknown reasons it may sometimes come out of latency and cause illness.
When the disease becomes active in calves it is usually deadly and will often kill them within a few days, even with intensive treatment.
On Wednesday, blood samples from Smithsonian’s lab showed that the virus was active in Lily at very low levels. Oregon Zoo said at the time she showed no signs of d
However, the next morning, Lily began to show signs of drowsiness and unintention in food, which prompted veterinary medicine to begin immediate treatment with fluids and antiviral medication. She also received a transfusion.
Despite his efforts, Lily gave birth to the disease.
Currently there is no vaccination against EEHV. Researchers at Smithsonian and Johns Hopkins University developed a blood sample in 1999 that can detect the virus when it becomes active.
Unfortunately, when the virus is active there is usually very little time to treat an elephant.
Oregon Zoo says the virus is more difficult to identify and diagnose in wild elephants.