An Asian elephant has died suddenly at Sydney’s Taronga zoo.
Three-year-old Asian elephant Jai Dee died on Tuesday, the zoo said in a statement on its Facebook page.
The preliminary cause of death has been identified as a torsion in the intestines, also known as twisted bowel.
“It is with deep sadness we share the devastating news, that Jai Dee our three-year-old Asian elephant suddenly passed away yesterday afternoon,” the zoo said.
After showing signs of abdominal pain on Monday, the elephant was treated by Taronga Wildlife Hospital staff who gave him medication to ease his symptoms.
By noon, he was showing normal behaviour and zoo keepers monitored him closely, but his condition deteriorated rapidly on Tuesday morning.
“Despite a full emergency response he devastatingly passed away later that day,” the zoo said.
Jai Dee was the fourth calf born at the zoo as part of its regional breeding program for the endangered species.
He was known for his cheeky personality, playful antics and love of swimming.
“His name in Thai means ‘heart’ and yesterday we lost a piece of Taronga’s heart with his sad passing,” the zoo said in a statement.
“This is an extremely sad time for all who loved and cared for him, particularly our elephant team whom he shared a special bond with.”