THERE is joy at Chester Zoo today as "little fighter" Indali has entered the recovery phase after showing symptoms of a killer elephant virus.

After 14 days of treatment for the elephant herpes virus, EEHV, experts at the zoo now believe that the two-year-old Asian elephant calf has entered a recovery phase.

A Chester Zoo spokesperson said: "While this is hugely optimistic, EEHV remains a deadly virus and we are wary of the possibility that this is a remission and her condition could still decline.

"Our large team of vets and keepers will continue to monitor her closely."

Winsford Guardian:

Indali

In the last two weeks, Indali has undergone intensive daily treatments to help her fight off the virus: including nine anaesthetic procedures, innovative blood plasma transfusions, interferon therapy, anti-viral medications and immune boosting treatments.

The spokesperson added: "Our priority now is to try to encourage Indali and her mum, Sundara, to get back to a more normal daily routine. She will benefit greatly from the comfort that comes with reconnecting with the rest of the close-knit family herd.

"Although Indali’s condition remains delicate, as conservationists and care givers we are eternally grateful to the incredible support from a range of partners who have helped her up to this point, not least the detailed analysis of Indali’s blood samples carried out by world leading EEHV expert Akbar Dastjerdi of the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

"We are also thankful to the thousands of Chester Zoo supporters who, for many years, have been donating to our Never Forget campaign, funding vital research searching for a solution to the global EEHV crisis.

Chester Zoo scientists, in partnership with The University of Surrey and APHA, are continuing the search for a vaccine for EEHV, which is critical to protect both wild and zoo elephant herds globally.

Indali will continue to be monitored day-in, day-out.