NEW ZOO Announces Baby Giraffe Loss
It is a sad day for the NEW Zoo, and the community. The long awaited baby giraffe was born early Saturday morning, but only survived for 36 hours. The female calf was born weak, and was unable to nurse on her own. Zoo staff and veterinarian Dr. Tracey Gilbert were monitoring the situation closely, and administered milk to the calf through a feeding tube. Despite this and other treatments, the calf died Sunday afternoon. Dr. Gilbert performed a necropsy on the calf, and results will be available in approximately two weeks. Zuri, the mother giraffe, is doing well. At this point there is no indication that Zuri cannot be bred again, but a decision will be made once all the results are in. It is not unusual for baby giraffe to die during or shortly after birth.
“Our staff and Veterinarian Dr. Gilbert worked very hard through the weekend to give the female calf the best chance to survive but unfortunately the calf died Sunday despite their efforts,” stated Neil Anderson, Zoo Director. “As we always hope for the best, sometimes the Circle of Life can deliver us moments that are very special and moments that are truly heartbreaking both of which can bring a tear to our eyes. Giraffe calves have special challenges in learning to stand, walk and nurse because of their incredibly long heavy legs and long necks. They need to be born very strong to accomplish this. Zoo staff and Dr. Gilbert followed Zuri’s pregnancy closely since conception, and there was no outward sign of problems before birth. Having any complications in the birthing process and first few days of life can make it very difficult to survive.”