Nashville Zoo loses giraffe due to pregnancy complications

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 1:44pm
Staff reports
Savannah (Courtesy Nashville Zoo)

Nashville Zoo officials announced Tuesday the death of Masai giraffe Savannah and her unborn calf.

The 7-year-old female died early Monday morning following complications with her pregnancy.

For the past five years, zoo guests could observe Savannah, Congo, Margarita and young Suzasita (Sita) in the zoo’s Giraffe Savannah exhibit.

“She was a very sweet giraffe,” Director of Animal Collections Connie Philipp said in a release. “Although Sita was not her calf, Savannah paid a lot of attention to her. We were very much looking forward to seeing Savannah with one of her own.”

Three giraffes came to Nashville Zoo in 2006 during the opening of the Giraffe Savanna habitat: Margarita, a female from Ellen Trout Zoo in Texas; Congo, a male from Los Angeles Zoo and Savannah from Houston Zoo. In November 2010, Margarita gave birth to a female, Sita who was recently sent to the The Wilds in Ohio to be introduced to a new herd.

For the past several months, Nashville Zoo has been making arrangements to increase the giraffe collection. The zoo will move forward with plans to receive a 1-year old female from Gladys Porter Zoo in Texas, according to President Rick Schwartz.

“I cannot say enough about the professionals that helped us through this difficult process,” said Zoo President Rick Schwartz. “Our staff along with vets from the Tennessee Equine Hospital worked tirelessly for hours. It is abundantly clear that all of them care deeply about our animals and did everything possible to try and save Savannah.”

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