The first-time mother, Nasha, 6, gave birth to a healthy calf on Saturday following a complicated delivery, according to the zoo.
But after announcing the birth, zookeepers noticed the calf was in distress. Shortly afterward, they announced the tragic loss.
“Our animal care team quickly intervened but were unsuccessful at saving the calf,” the zoo wrote. “An initial necropsy showed trauma to the neck but further testing will follow to determine if there were any underlying causes for the newborn’s death. Thank you all for your support over the past few weeks and especially during this tough time.”
“We are devastated over the loss of Nasha’s calf,” said Dr. Heather Schwartz, the zoo’s director of veterinary medicine. “Our staff has worked tirelessly to make sure this calf was given the best possible care. We moved from fear of a stillborn to joy of revival to anguish.”
Schwartz said the calf appeared to be thriving, and they decided to move the newborn to be with her mother. The two were bonding, but during this time Nasha may have inadvertently injured her calf, Schwartz said.
Nasha is doing well and keepers will be giving her an abundance of comfort and care for the next few days, according to the zoo.