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Giraffe Calf Dies after Difficult Beginning
For immediate release: July 3, 2010, 11 a.m.
The female giraffe calf born June 30 at Dickerson Park Zoo died overnight July 3.
Following birth, the calf was unable to stand up on her own without the assistance of zookeepers and did not nurse from her mother "Cheka." Zookeepers moved the calf and her mother into the giraffe barn where they could provide additional care for the calf.
Yesterday, the calf was moved from the giraffe barn to the African hoofed animal holding area, an off-exhibit facility, where zookeepers could monitor her condition more closely in an environment with lower stress and a higher degree of safety for both the animal and the staff. Initially, the calf's condition improved Friday. She appeared to be more alert and walked around unaided once zookeepers helped her stand. Unfortunately, the calf's condition worsened again overnight.
At birth, the calf was breech, and that may have been a contributing factor to the difficulties she experienced. The zoo's veterinarian will perform a necropsy to better understand the cause of death.
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Dickerson Park Zoo is a division of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board and is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.