Columbus Zoo mourning death of second giraffe calf

The Columbus Zoo announced on Facebook and Twitter that first-time mom Cami has gone into labor. (Columbus Zoo)

The Columbus Zoo is mourning the loss of their second Giraffe calf after difficulties during the birth Tuesday afternoon.

The Zoo announced on Facebook and Twitter that first-time mom Cami went into labor, offering a live video feed of her pen. But a short time later, they announced there was a problem and they needed to help both mom and calf.

Giraffes are born front hooves first, but the Columbus Zoo said they realized the baby calf's rear hooves were protruding instead, and that it's extremely rare for calves to survive if born that way. After first trying to manually help Cami and the calf, veterinarians performed an emergency c-section Tuesday night. Once the baby was born, veterinarians say they found it had serious congenital defects and would not have survived even if it had been born front hooves first.

Cami is recovering from surgery and zoo officials said Wednesday morning she did well overnight.

“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’. Despite the sad outcome, I am proud of our caring professionals for the great measures they took to try to save both Ubumwe, as well as Cami’s calf. Many animals, including giraffe calves, are extremely vulnerable when they are born—both in their native range and in human care. While we certainly understand the potential challenges, our team remains proactive, vigilant, and prepared to assist Cami however necessary. We are grateful for both the outpouring of support from giraffe fans around the world, as well as from our professional conservation community, as we continue our commitment to working to protect the future of wildlife,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President/CEO Tom Stalf.

Back in June, zoo officials announced that 6-year-old Cami and 8-year-old Zuri were both expecting. Zuri gave birth to a baby girl named Ubumwe in October. A few weeks after her birth the zoo announced that Ubumwe had died.

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