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Giraffe calf dies during birth at Columbus Zoo

December 5, 2018

Giraffe calf dies during birth at Columbus Zoo

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Officials at the Columbus zoo were unable to save a Masai giraffe calf after complications developed during its birth Tuesday.

A news release from the zoo says the calf’s mother, Cami, went into labor at about 3 p.m. Tuesday. The calf began to emerge with its rear-hooves first, which very few calves survive, officials say.

The zoo’s animal care team and an animal surgeon went into Cami’s stall at about 4:50 p.m. to try to save the calf, first trying to manually extract the calf, then performing an emergency Cesarean section at about 8 p.m.

Medical workers found the calf had serious congenital defects and would not have survived even if born hooves first, zoo officials say.

Cami is in stable but guarded condition after the surgery. A 6-year-old Masai giraffe, Cami has been at the Columbus Zoo since 2013 after arriving from the Nashville Zoo.

This is the second recent death of a giraffe calf at the Columbus Zoo. Ubumwe, the calf of Zuri, died on Nov. 17 after being born on Oct. 30.

“The loss of any animal is heartbreaking to the Columbus Zoo’s devoted animal care and animal health teams, particularly two whose births were as anticipated as these giraffe calves,” Tom Stalf, zoo president and CEO, says in the news release.

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