Cause of death determined for OKC Zoo elephant

Posted at 3:15 PM, Feb 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-20 16:15:32-05

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden says a necropsy has been performed on the 37-year-old Asian elephant named Chai.

The zoo said Sunday that tissue samples were sent to an independent lab to help determine cause of death.

Results reviewed by veterinary staff indicate the cause of death to be a systemic bacterial infection in Chai's bloodstream, which is a non-contagious condition.

The zoo says Chai was found dead Jan. 30 with her family herd nearby.

The elephant was controversially transferred from Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo to Oklahoma City eight months ago, along with another elephant.

The Seattle-based Friends of the Woodland Park Zoo Elephants that wanted the elephants sent to a sanctuary in California has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate the death.

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