Her unborn calf did not survive.
The 7-year-old Masai giraffe was born in captivity at the Houston Zoo and came to Nashville when she was 2.
“It’s like losing a member of the family,’’ said Jim Bartoo, spokesman for the zoo, who explained that the veterinary team intervened in the labor process when it was determined the baby had died and was in a breech position.
“The vets became concerned that the baby had died at some point in the process, and they started to intervene,’’ he said. “They worked hours and hours to reposition the fetus and avoid surgery, which is always a problem for giraffes in captivity.’’
Savannah was described as “a very sweet giraffe,” said Director of Animal Collections Connie Philipp. She was carrying her first baby and had been very attentive to another calf at the zoo.
“We were very much looking forward to seeing Savannah with one of her own,” Philipp said.
“I cannot say enough about the professionals that helped us through this difficult process,” said zoo President Rick Schwartz. “Our staff, along with vets from the Tennessee Equine Hospital, worked tirelessly for hours. It is abundantly clear that all of them care deeply about our animals and did everything possible to try and save Savannah.”
— Cindy Smith