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Asian elephant at Tokyo’s Ueno zoo has miscarriage

TOKYO — An elephant at Ueno Zoological Gardens has had a miscarriage, about four months after it was confirmed as the first Asian elephant to get pregnant at the Tokyo zoo since it opened in 1882, the zoo said on Tuesday (Nov 1).

Authi's (right) first appearance before the public at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo back in 2002. In early September 2016, Authi was confirmed as the first Asian elephant to get pregnant at the Tokyo zoo since it opened in 1882. Photo: AFP

Authi's (right) first appearance before the public at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo back in 2002. In early September 2016, Authi was confirmed as the first Asian elephant to get pregnant at the Tokyo zoo since it opened in 1882. Photo: AFP

TOKYO — An elephant at Ueno Zoological Gardens has had a miscarriage, about four months after it was confirmed as the first Asian elephant to get pregnant at the Tokyo zoo since it opened in 1882, the zoo said on Tuesday (Nov 1).

Authi, 18, had been expected to give birth around June or July next year but had a miscarriage on Monday, possibly due to a blocked blood flow caused by a twisted umbilical cord.

The miscarriage does not appear to have had a major impact on Authi’s health, according to the zoo.

The zoo announced in early September that Authi was pregnant. The female elephant showed signs of pregnancy after zookeepers made it stay together with the other elephant in October last year, and what appears to be a fetus was observed using an ultrasound in July, according to the zoo.

It is difficult to breed Asian elephants in captivity and only 11 successful cases have been reported in Japan. KYODO NEWS

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