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Illness hits Honolulu Zoo elephant Mari

  • COURTESY CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU
                                Honolulu Zoo elephants, Mari and Vaigai, appear at the zoo. Mari is sick, and both elephants may be temporarily off exhibit.

    COURTESY CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU

    Honolulu Zoo elephants, Mari and Vaigai, appear at the zoo. Mari is sick, and both elephants may be temporarily off exhibit.

Honolulu Zoo announced Friday afternoon that Mari, one of two resident Asian elephants, has been ill and is receiving treatment.

During treatments, Mari, 44, and fellow elephant, Vaigai, 34, will be temporarily taken off exhibit at the zoo at certain times of the day. This is because Vaigai tends to follow Mari when she is getting treatment, city officials said.

For the past week, Mari has been ill with intestinal inflammation, but is currently stable, the zoo said. Veterinary staff are continuing to monitor Mari, and offer her supportive treatment.

The zoo’s two female elephants arrived in Waikiki from India through the efforts of former consulate general of India in Hawaii David Watumull and his family. Mari arrived in Honolulu in 1982, and 10 years later, Vaigai followed.

Both elephants were moved to a substantially larger elephant habitat measuring about 1.5 acres and built at a cost of about $12 million in late 2011.

Asian elephants live to be about 70 years old, according to the Honolulu Zoo Society’s website.

Honolulu Zoo, run by the city Department of Enterprise Services, is currently seeking reaccreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

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