Tukta The Elephant Dies At Sydney's Taronga Zoo

It's a sad day for the team at Taronga Zoo Sydney.

Animal carers at Sydney's Taronga Zoo say the death of eight-year-old Asian Elephant Tukta has left them heartbroken.

Tukta was taken into care by the Taronga Veterinary team on Monday when the Elephant Keepers noticed she was lethargic and off her food.

A young Tukta at home at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. Image: Taronga Conservation Society Australia

Tukta was found to be suffering a sudden and acute onset of Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV), which Taronga Zoo explained is present in almost all Asian Elephants, both in the wild and in zoos.

However, it only causes illnesses in some young elephants and when it does is almost always fatal.

Taronga Director and CEO Cameron Kerr said losing Tukta was like losing family, and that staff and volunteers are devastated.

“Our hearts are broken by Tukta’s sudden and unexpected loss. She was a much-loved member of Taronga’s Elephant herd who loved caring for her little brother Jai Dee,” Mr Kerr said.