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Indianapolis Zoo: Deadly virus ‘nearly undetectable’ in African elephant Kedar

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Indianapolis Zoo officials shared more good news for Kedar, a 13-year-old African elephant who contracted a deadly virus.

Kedar (photo courtesy of Indianapolis Zoo)

On Tuesday, zoo officials said the Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) in the elephant is "nearly undetectable now" and he was able to get back into the large yard he's accustomed to.

The zoo started testing the blood of each elephant twice a week after two elephants, Nyah and Kalina, died in March. When the zoo announced Kedar had tested positive for EEHV, they said veterinarians were able to diagnose the virus early and an antiviral treatment was immediately started.

Ten days after starting the treatment, they saw the virus levels drop significantly. With Tuesday's update, the zoo said they're "so pleased with his progress."

Scientists aren't sure how the disease spreads from elephants to elephants, but they know it does not spread to humans.

The Indianapolis Zoo has six African elephants, including 37-year-old Ivory, 13-year-old Zahara, 43-year-old Tombi, 52-year-old Sophi, 43-year-old Kubwa and the only male in the herd is Kedar.

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