A young elephant has tragically and suddenly died at a zoo in Omaha

Warren the elephant, an eight- or nine-year-old male elephant who had arrived at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium from Swaziland, sadly died Thursday after a procedure to fix his tusk went wrong.

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The elephant was anesthetized in order to have a prosthetic made for his cracked tusk. According to the zoo’s Facebook page, “because the tusk is a living tooth that grows throughout the elephant’s life, the veterinary team was concerned the cracks would progress and lead to a serious infection.”

“It’s a serious issue and it was important we prevent it,” said Dr. Doug Armstrong, director of animal health at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

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They gave him anesthesia and began to operate when his breathing suddenly slowed before stopping. Although emergency measures were deployed, they were unable to save Warren. While the cause of death is currently unknown, the animal will undergo a necropsy.

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