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Juvenile Elephant Dies At Ringling’s Center In Central Florida

The youngest elephant at Ringling’s Center for Elephant Conservation in Polk City has died. The two-year old Asian elephant named Mike died Monday morning.

Spokesman Stephen Payne said Mike died from a strain of herpes virus found only in elephants.

“We don’t really know how he got it. Some elephants have been found to harbor the virus without any symptoms but in young elephants it really does do a lot of damage and sadly a lot of times by the time you see symptoms of the virus it’s really too late,”said Payne.

He said treatment immediately started after Mike started showing symptoms on Saturday. Final necropsy results are pending.

Other elephants at the center have contracted herpes virus but were treated and recovered. The virus is not transmissible from elephants to humans.

Mike was born at the center June 2013. He will be buried at a private facility Ringling keeps confidential.

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Crystal Chavez