Giraffe calf dies just days after being born at Calgary Zoo

Written by on October 4, 2019 in Critter Love, Rare Critters - No comments

Update: Oct. 5, 2019

The Calgary Zoo offered a terribly sad update Saturday.

“We are heartbroken to announce that our male giraffe calf passed away overnight,” the zoo announced on social media. “We knew when he was born so tiny that it would be an uphill battle, but had high hopes that the love of his Mama and round the clock care from our team would be enough to help him begin to thrive.”

“We are supporting Emara and our team through this devastating outcome. Please join us in remembering our littlest tower,” the zoo added.

Zoogoers are sending condolences and photos of the family.

Amber Pavel writing on Facebook: “We just saw this little guy hanging with mom and dad. How devastating¬†😢”

Amber Pavel took this beautiful photo of the giraffe family at the Calgary Zoo and posted it to the zoo’s Facebook page.

The zoo doesn’t know yet why the calf died.

“A necropsy will be performed to determine the cause of death,” the facility explained.

***

Motherhood hasn’t been an easy road for Emara.

The Calgary Zoo’s 8-year-old Masai giraffe had two late-term miscarriage and had one calf, which died 48 hours after being born.

But now, Emara — and the zoo — is celebrating a successful birth.

Her male calf arrived Sunday, Sept. 29. And after getting through first few critical days, by Thursday the baby boy met his daddy.

The male calf is a little smaller than zookeepers expected.

He did arrive at the early end of the normal gestation term.

But he has been feeding well and settling in.

Mother Emara doesn’t stray far from her little boy. Mona Keith/Calgary Zoo

The zoo worked with experts to ensure this pregnancy went as smoothly as possible.

“Pregnancy issues in giraffes are rare, and our work with specialists and zoos across North America to help Emara successfully become a mom was worth it,” Dr. Sandie Black, head of veterinary services at the zoo, said in a news release.

Now, officials are cheering on their tallest little addition with the hashtag #rootingforourlittlestYYCtower.

Well wishes have poured in.

The Masai giraffe has is considered endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Their population has declined to to habitat destruction, poaching and human conflict.

But images like this, provides some glimmer of hope.

The still unnamed baby giraffe meets his father, Nabo, for the first time. Photo: Calgary Zoo

Photos Mona Keith/Calgary Zoo

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About the Author

Dawn Walton

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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