The Copenhagen Zoo had been eagerly awaiting the day when Surin the elephant would give birth to a new baby to join the zoo's herd. Public interest in the new addition was so great that the zoo has been sending live video from the elephant enclosure.
Unfortunately on Friday that expectation turned to sorrow when veterinarians discovered that Surin's amnion had been expelled, a nearly certain sign that her baby will be stillborn.
“It means that the amnion has been punctured, which in all likelihood means that the foetus is dead. The best that can happen now is that she can naturally give birth to the dead foetus in the course of the next three to four days,” Mades Bertlesen, a veterinarian at the zoo, said in a press release.
If the foetus does not come out naturally, the zoo may be forced to remove it.
“It is a fairly complicated procedure that we would prefer to avoid as it may affect Surin's future ability to become impregnated,” Bertelsen said.
This marks the second sad ending to a pregnancy for Surin. In 2013, her newborn calf died after birth because of a heart defect.
An elephant's pregnancy lasts around 22 months.
Despite the likelihood that the new calf will be stillborn, the zoo will continue its livestream from the elephant enclosure due to public interest.