UPDATE 8/30/2017: On Wednesday morning, Pittsburgh Zoo announced that staff made the decision to euthanize Seeni's baby, who was born prematurely and had trouble eating and gaining weight. "We fully stand behind the informed and calculated decisions made, and the valiant efforts and commitment of the team of experts who cared for the elephant calf," Pittsburgh Zoo said in a press release. "The Zoo's keeper and veterinary staff demonstrate dedication to the care and welfare of animals every single day and always act in the interest of what is best for each individual animal in every unique situation."
The elephant never should have been taken out of Africa, and she definitely shouldn’t have been forced to have another baby. That’s what animal welfare advocates say about Seeni, a 23-year-old elephant who tragically lost her family in Africa and was transported to Pennsylvania to take part in a captive breeding program.
Twenty-one years ago, when Seeni was just a baby, she lived in the wild with her family in the Kruger National Park region of South Africa. But her life drastically changed when the country killed Seeni’s family during an organized cull, which was done to protect vegetation, and to supposedly strengthen biodiversity in the area.