Chendra, an Asian elephant at the Oregon Zoo, was eight months into her pregnancy when she suffered a miscarriage. The zoo announced the news this morning.
After noticing a drop in reproductive hormone levels, veterinarians at the Oregon Zoo sent samples to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Washington D.C. where the loss of pregnancy was confirmed.
"We knew this was a possibility, but that doesn't make it any easier," Bob Lee, the overseer of the elephant program at the Oregon Zoo, said in a statement.
Due to her age, it is unlikely that Chendra will be able to get pregnant again, according to Lee.
WW reported in July that Chendra, six months into her pregnancy, might have tuberculosis. Oregon Zoo veterinarians have confirmed this, but say the TB treatment did not have an effect on her pregnancy.
"There is no connection between Chendra's TB and her miscarriage, but the loss of her pregnancy does simplify her treatment plan," said Kelly Flaminio, a veterinarian at the Oregon Zoo.
Oregon Zoo staff hopes the TB treatment plan will have Chendra healthy and back with her herd by late fall.
Chendra came to the Oregon Zoo in 1999 after being orphaned in Borneo. She was found outside of a palm oil plantation with injuries that were consistent with being shot by a shotgun, leaving her blind in one eye.
Staff at the Oregon Zoo say they are now "simply focused on [Chendra's] health, comfort and well-being…as they begin to treat her for TB."