SINGAPORE - Lucy, Singapore Zoo's resident female giraffe, died on Tuesday (Feb 5).
"During the process to extract the foetus from Lucy, she went into cardiac arrest and despite more than 10 minutes of attempting to resuscitate her, the effort was in vain," Wildlife Reserves Singapore said in a Facebook post.
She died at 7pm.
The 14-year-old giraffe had been confirmed to be pregnant with her first calf in April last year.
Lucy shared her enclosure with two male giraffes: Marco, Lucy's 14-year-old mate; and Jubilee, who was born in 2015 to Marco and Roni, who died in April 2017.
Originally from The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens in Israel, Lucy made the 16-day sea voyage to Singapore in 2005.
The zoo also lost the island's last polar bear, Inuka, on April 25 last year after his health deteriorated and he had to be put down.
On social media, many were sad to hear of Lucy’s death.
Facebook user Hemalatha Sivakumar said she had brought her baby to visit Lucy last month, when Lucy had her “cute baby in (her) tummy". “Both of you are in a better place now. Rest in peace Lucy & baby,” she added.
In a reply to one of the comments, WRS said that Lucy was in labour for more than 48 hours and was unable to deliver her baby.
“Based on the time and consulting with other giraffe experts, our vets knew that the chances of survival for the calf were near zero,” said WRS. As other dangers would arise for Lucy if the dead calf was unable to be expelled, the vets made the decision to extract the foetus and focus on saving Lucy.
“Unfortunately, Lucy suffered from a cardiac arrest during the procedure and has crossed the rainbow bridge,” added WRS.
“I am so sorry to hear this. My condolences to all her friends at the zoo who were taking such good care of her. Heartbreaking sadness,” said Tan Hsien-Li in a Facebook comment.
Another user Nancy Pabody said: “We have lost way too many of these gentle giants recently, all the more reason we pray that our April will have a safe delivery and a healthy calf due in just a few months! We grieve with all of you there in the loss of your precious Lucy and her baby in spite of your heroic efforts!!”
April is a giraffe at Animal Adventure Park in New York, who gained fame in 2017 when her delivery of her fourth calf was live-streamed. April was confirmed to be pregnant again in 2018, with her fifth baby to arrive in spring 2019, said the New York zoo.