Zoo Director, Greg Bockheim says even though her passing was inevitable, it has hit the staff hard.
He says, "It does have a tremendous effect and really is traumatizing to the animal care staff because we really do build those relationships with the animals that has passed away."
Sadly, the Virginia Zoo is riddled with a history of animal deaths over the past decade.
Since 2002, a baby giraffe and her mother, a tiger, a bull rhino, a zebra, several prairie dogs, a baby gazelle, another giraffe, a baboon, and a lion, have all died. Some were health related, others were accidents.
"We report and announce things when they do happen because we're not the only people that are close to these animals but we know that our community and visitorship is also," Bockheim says.
But there is good news, even in the sadness. Virginia Zoo officials shared exclusive information with NewsChannel 3.
Ten days ago, the zoo received two new Malayan Tigers. Kadar and Tahan are 16 months old and are currently in quarantine in Norfolk. They'll be available for public viewing in the spring.