(Memphis) Memphis Zoo officials have announced 29-year-old African elephant “Gina” has had a miscarriage.
Gina was due to give birth in August of this year.
“Zoo officials became concerned last week when ultrasounds showed lack of fetal movement. Ultrasound expert Dr. Shannon McGee and Zoo veterinarians conducted an in-depth ultrasound Sunday and confirmed that there was no heartbeat. The cause of the calf’s death is unknown at this time.”
According to the Zoo, Gina arrived from a private owner in November 2008 and this would have been her first calf and the second elephant birth in the history of the Memphis Zoo.
In 2009, a calf born to elephant “Asali” died when it was only one day old.
“Our animal caregivers, researchers and staff have been working for a very long time on this pregnancy, and everyone here at the Memphis Zoo is deeply saddened by this turn of events,” said Dr. Chuck Brady, the Memphis Zoo’s president.
“Zoo keepers and veterinarians will continue to observe Gina with ultrasounds and blood monitoring,” said Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs. “The staff will conduct daily exercises with her to help pass the calf.”
For the safety of the mother, the Zoo will not attempt to remove the fetus.
“It is our hope that in the coming months, Gina will naturally pass the calf,” said Dr. Felicia Knightly, Memphis Zoo Senior Veterinarian. “However, it is possible that she could retain the calf for an extended period of time. It is also possible her body could reabsorb the fetus. We will monitor her closely during this time.”
From The Memphis Zoo:
- Asali: female, born at Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas on August 29, 1985.
- Tyranza: female, wild born in Africa in 1964.
- Gina: female, wild born in Africa in 1983 and rescued as an orphan.