Asian elephant

Save elephants by fighting Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV)

Raised: 306 € 50 000 €66 Days Left

Summary of the importance of the study:

Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) is the primary cause of death of young calves in captive Asian elephants, in zoos but as well in the wild country populations. Although significant accomplishments were achieved during the past years in understanding this disease, it has become evident that we are still a long way from halting this hemorrhagic disease. The solutions that seem to be consensual among the EEHV research community is that risk factors should be further explored and that regular monitoring and immediate and pre-organized treatment is needed. Intravenous transfusion of heterologous plasma and/or whole blood was an essential component in the few successful treatments, which helped to save the lives of recently ill elephant calves. There is so far no knowledge of how many blood types elephants have, but we do know that there are compatible and incompatible animals. Like humans, the parents are not always directly compatible donors, and therefore, we always have to test for compatibility before transfusing for treatment. Knowing the compatibility of blood donor/receiver precociously would solve one important, time-consuming task, which can also reveal itself as frustrating if no, or few compatible donors are found in the herd, and it will save time during an imminent situation of an EEHV-HD symptomatic calf.

Therefore, we aim to find a way of being more proactive in facing emergency treatment. The core goal of the project is to know in advance which calf is blood compatible with which adult elephants, on a European scale. Our main purpose with this project is to provide a tool to facilitate and encourage zoos to use it in case of need, by making the cross-matching (blood compatibility testing) happen fast and for as many zoos as possible.

Aim of the fundraising campaign:

With this campaign, we wish to aid our ongoing research, which would allow us to pay for research equipment (butanediol plate cooling box, haemoglobin analyzer, etc), consumable materials (blood tubes, microhematocrit capillaries, smears, needles, blood donation bags, etc), laboratory reagents, personal and transportation costs. With this, we aim at cross-matching Asian elephant blood as a method to access blood compatibility between animals. The outcome of this project will be to provide information on blood transfusion compatibility to every zoological institution involved. In a network of inter-help, every zoo plays a vital role in saving their calves and those of their neighbours from EEHVHD.

Sónia will invite every donor to her online talk!

Every donor will be invited from Sónia before Christmas to her Online-Zoom-talk! Discuss directly with a scientist ;)

This campaign is organised and run by the Conservation and Research Fund in cooperation with KeepNatureAlive

After deduction of administrative costs such as bank fees,taxes and platform fees the raised funds will support directly the scientific work of Sónia Fontes under the framework of the German Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.