A 12-year-old giraffe at the Los Angeles Zoo died Monday night, hours after undergoing a procedure to deliver her stillborn calf.
The giraffe, named Hasina, had underwent an anesthetized exam to remove the calf due to its abnormal breech position, the L.A. Zoo said in a statement on Tuesday.
A team of more than 30 animal care and health staff worked to remove the calf during a five-hour long procedure that started Monday morning. They were able to successfully remove the stillborn animal.
Hasina was doing well after and recovering from the anesthesia, but she died later that day.
“The Zoo is devastated at the loss of Hasina and her calf,” Dr. Dominique Keller, the zoo’s chief veterinarian and director of animal health & wellness, said in a statement. “Hasina was a healthy giraffe in her prime, so we were hopeful that she would survive.”
Officials did not release a cause of death yet, but explained that the length of time she was under anesthesia and the position of the breech calf were among the procedure’s complicating factors.
“Following the procedure, Hasina was standing on her own, which is a positive sign, but in the end she may have been too weak from the experience,” Keller said.
Hasina, who came over to the L.A. Zoo from the San Diego Zoo in March 2010, had previously given birth to five giraffe calfs.
She’s “been an ambassador for her species and instrumental in adding to the sustainable population of Masai giraffes at the Los Angeles Zoo,” the statement read.
The zoo noted that the giraffes are characterized as “endangered” due to a number of circumstances, including habitat loss, illegal hunting and disease.
Four other giraffes are currently featured in the zoo’s habitat: Phillip, Zainabu, Sofie and James.