December 1, 2000
Vallejo, CA -- Six Flags Marine World officials reported that Kala, a 2-year-old Asian elephant died on November 29 due to a viral infection.
Kala was infected by endothelial inclusion body disease, a virus that park trainers had been checking him for since his arrival at the park in May. According to reports at least nine other elephants have died in captivity from this virus.
The virus has scientists and experts stumped since it suddenly strikes young elephants without warning. Endothelial inclusion body disease cannot be detected until the virus is active and Asian elephants appear to be more vulnerable.
This latest loss saddened Marine World trainers who also suffered the loss of Vigga, a 23-year old killer whale earlier this year.
Kala arrived at Six Flags Marine World among protests from Animal Rights groups. Kala was quarantined for the summer, before being introduced to the public in September.