It is with great sadness that we share with you the news of the death of our female elephant calf, Bala Hi Way.
Bala, who was born in January 2013, was taken ill over the weekend and was being treated by the elephant and veterinary teams here at the zoo.
Unfortunately, despite the very best efforts of all the teams involved in her care, Bala very sadly died last night.
The exact cause of her death will be determined by a post-mortem examination. However, we can confirm that Bala tested positive for an illness called elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV). This affects both wild and captive elephants.
Bala, daughter of Sithami Hi Way, was a much loved member of the herd and was known amongst keepers and visitors for her playful charisma and will be greatly missed by many.
Dr Mark Pilgrim, director general, said:
Bala was a very well-known character among zoo staff and visitors alike, and so her death will be felt by many, especially those who cared for her every day.
Both keeping and veterinary teams did everything possible to help her when she fell ill. It is a very, very sad time for everyone involved.