Hellabrunn Mourns Baby Elephant, Lola
Despite our utmost efforts to save Lola, the baby elephant with heart problems, she died this Saturday (21/01/2012) from a pulmonary embolism.
On Friday evening the multi-disciplinary medical team comprising heart surgeons, cardiologists and anaesthetists from the fields of both human and veterinary medicine decided that the nearly three-month-old baby elephant, Lola, should be operated on at the University Hospital in Großhadern instead of using the prepared operating theatre at Munich’s zoo. Only by using the CT scanner at the hospital could certain anatomical questions be resolved that would minimise the risk of the operation.
The emergency operation should have started Saturday morning. The baby elephant was tranquilised and then transported to the University Hospital in Großhadern accompanied by zookeepers and veterinarians. One there, Lola was prepped for the CT scan and sedated. Although her circulation was stable to start with, she died during the scan from an acute pulmonary embolism caused by the previously diagnosed blood clot in her heart. Despite intensive resuscitation efforts she could not be brought back to life.
The elephant’s mother, Panang (22), and the rest of the herd had the possibility to say goodbye to Lola on Saturday afternoon.
“We are all so very sad that we couldn’t help Lola. It was always our greatest fear that the blood clot in her heart could lead to an embolism that would result in sudden death. Unfortunately that is exactly what happened. Our only consolation is that we tried everything possible to save this baby elephant’s life,” said Zoo Director, Dr. Andreas Knieriem.