Mystery illness kills baby elephant

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The Independent Online
The first female Asiatic elephant to be born and brought up in the United Kingdom died yesterday after suffering a mystery illness, Chester Zoo said. Karha, who was 17 months old, had been refusing to eat for several days.

Pat Kade, a spokeswoman for the zoo, said: "All those who knew and worked with her are very upset ... A post mortem will be held." Last week Karha was taken to Leahurst Animal Hospital at Liverpool University after her keepers noticed she had lost her appetite. While she was there she collapsed and staff were unable to get her to her feet again. Karha became famous when 143,000 Blue Peter viewers voted to choose her name, and she was credited with bringing thousands of extra visitors to the zoo.

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