MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Gina, the 29-year-old African elephant at the Memphis Zoo, has suffered a miscarriage. She was due to give birth in August.
Veterinarians conducted an in-depth ultrasound over the weekend and confirmed that the fetus no longer had a heartbeat. The cause of the calf's death has not been determined.
Gina's calf would have been her first birth and the second elephant birth in the history of the Memphis Zoo. In 2009, the first elephant calf born at the zoo was accidentally killed by its mother's tusk when it was just one day old.
"Our animal caregivers, researchers and staff have been working for a very long time on this pregnancy, and everyone here at the Memphis Zoo is deeply saddened by this turn of events," said Dr. Chuck Brady, the Memphis Zoo's president.
Veterinarians will not remove the fetus out of concern for Gina's safety; the staff will conduct daily exercises so the elephant can pass the calf naturally.