The first-time mother, Nasha, 6, gave birth to a healthy calf on Saturday after a complicated birth, according to the zoo.
But after announcing the birth, zookeepers noticed that the calf was in trouble. A little later, they announced the tragic loss.
“Our animal welfare team entered quickly but was unsuccessful in saving the calf,” wrote the zoo. “The initial autopsy showed trauma to the neck, but further tests will be done to determine if there are any underlying causes of newborn death. Thank you all for your support over the past few weeks and especially during this difficult time.”
“We are devastated by the loss of Nasha’s calf,” said Dr. Heather Schwartz, director of veterinary medicine at the zoo. “Our staff has worked tirelessly to ensure that this calf receives the best possible care. We have gone from a stillborn fear to the joy of revival to distress.”
Schwartz said the calf appeared to be thriving, and they decided to transfer the newborn to be with her mother. Schwartz said the two were bonding, but during this time Nasha may have accidentally hit the calf.
Nasha is doing well and the rangers will provide her with plenty of rest and care over the next few days, according to the zoo.