Farewell Dear Lucy

It is with great sadness that we bring the devastating news that we have lost Lucy, our beloved giraffe.

During the process to extract the foetus from Lucy, she went into cardiac arrest and despite more than 10 minutes of attempting to resuscitate her, the effort was in vain. We bade farewell to her at 7.00pm today. Rest in peace Lucy. You will always remain in our hearts.

For her keepers and the veterinary team who have been monitoring her progress in gestation for the past many months, and who have been on constant watch over her since the last 48 hours, it was a very bitter ending. All of us at WRS would like to show our appreciation and support for Lucy’s care team for their dedication, love and care they have provided to Lucy. Our hearts are with them during this hard time.

We would also like to share our appreciation to all our online supporters for their love and well wishes.

Birthing Complications

Lucy's care team was hopeful that she would deliver naturally but after more than 48 hours of continuous watch and supportive care, that hope was dashed and a next course of action was called for.

The chance for survival of the foetus is near zero and after careful deliberation, vets and keepers have decided to sedate Lucy to extract the foetus. In a giraffe, this procedure is complex and fraught with risks . The priority now is to help Lucy recover from this ordeal. Please keep Lucy and her care team in your thoughts. We will update again when more news is available.

Lucy in Labour

Lucy went into labour over the weekend. We were hoping to share some joyful baby news, but things are not going smoothly for our first-time mum. Lucy’s care team, consisting of keepers and vets, are monitoring her around the clock and assisting her with medication to help her deliver. Please keep her in your thoughts. We will continue to update when we have more news.

Giraffe Mummy Woes

It’s tough being a mum, more so if you’re a giraffe mum. Here’s why:

Long pregnancy
Your gestation lasts for 15 months or more, close to double that of humans. A long pregnancy means that by the time of delivery, your calf has developed a sturdy spine and muscles.

All alone
You give birth alone to avoid attracting predators to the herd. After the birth, you ‘clean up’ by eating your nutrient-rich placenta.

No confinement period
You don’t get to rest for long after giving birth as you’ve got to find food. Your calf learns to stand in under an hour and starts trailing after you.

Ready for baby

Lucy has been showing signs that she’s close to giving birth! Our keepers were busy preparing the den for the arrival of our tall baby. Here’s how they have helped ‘baby-proof’ the den:

Cushioned floor
Giraffe mums usually give birth standing. Our keepers have poured wood shavings, sand and laid straw on the floor to cushion baby from its 2-metre fall. 

Wall paddings
Within hours of birth, giraffe babies can stand, suckle and start to take baby steps! Our keepers have the walls well padded in preparation for Baby Giraffe’s first wobbly steps.

Stay tuned for more updates on Lucy and baby!

Healthy eating for two

Planning Lucy’s pregnancy diet is tricky. As her baby grows, it pushes on her organs causing her stomach to shrink. Lucy also needs all the energy she can get to nourish a healthy calf. Besides browse and alfalfa, Lucy’s healthy, energy-packed diet includes:

Pellets
These energy-dense pellets are made from acacia (the favourite of giraffes in the wild) and are chock-full of vitamins and minerals. They are low in starch, so they won’t upset her digestive system if given in large amounts. 

Leafy greens
Lucy is given her own share of leafy veggies on top of her daily supply of leaves. These veggies are selected to provide a boost of protein, vitamin E, C and other antioxidants.

Baby bump

Mummy Lucy’s body is undergoing physical changes as her pregnancy progresses. One very noticeable change is her growing baby bump! A giraffe’s bump can get pretty big as full-term giraffe calves weigh between 50kg and 70kg, and measure about 1.8metres.

Towards the end of the last trimester, Lucy’s udders will fill with milk in preparation of a very hungry calf. Some giraffe mums can get so engorged that milk leaks out occasionally. 

Eating well is key to growing a healthy baby. Check back in a few weeks to find out how our keepers help provide Lucy with her necessary nutrients.

Big bun in the oven

Lucy, our giraffe at the Singapore Zoo, is expecting her very first bundle of joy soon. As giraffes are very skittish, it’s often difficult to conduct physical checks on them and many giraffe pregnancies usually go undetected for long.

By successfully conditioning Lucy to regular physical checks and our ultrasound equipment, our keepers and vets were able to detect her pregnancy early. Being able to conduct regular ultrasound scans are important to help our vets keep tabs on the baby’s development. During these scans, our vets have spotted baby’s heartbeat, ribcage and even little hooves!

Get to know Mum

Lucy shares her home in the Singapore Zoo’s Wild Africa zone with the rest of her giraffe family, Marco and Jubilee. Originally from The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens in Israel, Lucy made the 16-day sea voyage to Singapore in 2005. She is 14 years old in 2018, making her a middle-aged mum as giraffes can reach lifespans of up to 25 years under human care.

Stay tuned to receive regular updates on Lucy and baby!