Keepers and staff at Twycross Zoo in Warwickshire in mourning after the death of the newborn Asian elephant calf.
In the early hours of Sunday, March 25, Tara went into labour and delivered a stillborn female calf at 3.00am.
Elephant at Twycross Zoo
Keepers and a vet team had converged at Twycross to help out with the delivery if necessary and all were on hand when it became apparent the calf wasn’t moving immediately after the birth.
Tara sailed through her 22-month pregnancy without complications, and for a first time mum she had coped with each stage of the pregnancy very well.
Twycross Zoo’s Director of Life Sciences, Sharon Redrobe, said: “We prepared for the birth well in advance and made a conscious decision to proceed with a herd birth.
“We gave the herd their privacy which helped bring on the labour naturally, and watched the birth process live via CCTV in an adjoining room.
Sarah Chapman, Head of Veterinarian at Twycross Zoo, reported: “Immediately after the birth we could see the calf wasn’t moving and we suspected it may have been stillborn
“The keepers and vet team, which included three vets and two vet nurses, rushed into the enclosure and worked on trying to bring life into the calf for almost an hour.”
When it was clear that nothing could be done to save the calf, it was returned to the herd for their own grieving.
Scans throughout the pregnancy had showed the calf was healthy and of a good size.
Keepers and staff are finding this time particularly difficult however remain dedicated to the ongoing care of Tara and the other elephants in the herd. Tara is currently doing well and will be monitored very closely over the next few weeks.