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India's Gift Elephants Don't Pass Mouth Test

April 30, 1987|Associated Press

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — This country looked a pair of gift elephants in the mouth and decided it could not accept them because they have foot and mouth disease.

The baby elephants were offered as gifts by Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during a visit last year. The elephants were to go to the Auckland Zoo.

But a veterinarian of the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Gordon Schwarz, said Wednesday that tests on the male and female animals while in quarantine in India showed they carried the highly contagious viral disease.

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