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Young Md. elephant fights to recover from virus

Friday - 3/15/2013, 10:25am  ET

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Animal keepers at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore say they are hopeful that their young elephant, Samson, can survive a potentially deadly virus.

Zoo officials say began noticing in February that Samson was acting lethargic. They began treating him for a deadly version of the herpes virus. The illness is lethal in elephants at least 80 percent of the time. Samson is being given antiviral medicines three times a day.

Zookeepers say Samson has been recovering -- but he still has several weeks of recuperation. Curator Mike McClure says Samson is very weak at times and lacks energy.

Samson is nearly 5 years old. He's the only elephant born at the Maryland Zoo in 137 years.


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