On the first day of Chinese New Year, the zookeepers of the Singapore Zoo were in mourning. Lucy the giraffe — a beloved longtime resident of the zoo — died from complications while giving birth to her first calf.
Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) confirmed the sad news on Facebook that the 14-year-old giraffe had gone into cardiac arrest in the midst of her fetus getting extracted.
Confirmed to be pregnant in October last year, Lucy had gone into labor over the weekend, and even after 48 hours of supportive care, it did not appear to be that the giraffe would be able to deliver naturally.
After analyzing that the chance for survival of the fetus had been “near zero”, the vets and keepers of WRD decided to sedate Lucy to extract it on Tuesday. The procedure, according to WRS, is “complex and fraught with risks”.
Unfortunately, it did not go down smoothly. Lucy went into cardiac arrest, and the 10 minutes of attempting to resuscitate her had been in vain. The giraffe passed away at 7pm that day. Her calf suffered the same fate and was not able to make it.
“For her keepers and the veterinary team who have been monitoring her progress in gestation for the past many months, and who have been on constant watch over her since the last 48 hours, it was a very bitter ending,” wrote WRS.
“All of us at WRS would like to show our appreciation and support for Lucy’s care team for their dedication, love, and care they have provided to Lucy.”
The Singapore Zoo’s resident female giraffe arrived on our shores back in 2005, after making a 16-day sea voyage from Israel’s Tisch Family Zoological Gardens. She died in her middle age — giraffes can live up to 25 years under human care.