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Newborn giraffe dies at Columbus Zoo

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A newborn giraffe at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has died.

The zoo reports the cause is unknown and says necropsy and pathology reports are underway.

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It is with a very heavy heart that we announce that Ubumwe, the female Masai giraffe calf born on Oct. 30, passed away today at approximately 8:30 a.m. At this time, the cause is unknown, and we will not have more information until a necropsy (animal autopsy) is conducted and a pathology report is received in several weeks. . The team of animal care professionals have monitored her and her mother, Zuri, around the clock since her birth. While she had previously been energetic and nursing as appropriate, her care team noted yesterday afternoon that Ubumwe’s behavior and appearance began to change. The Zoo’s veterinarians found that Ubumwe was a bit constipated and administered fluids and pain medication to minimize any gastrointestinal discomfort. After the examination, Ubumwe resumed nursing from Zuri. . During the early evening hours, Ubumwe’s care providers noticed that she still seemed to be experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort, so a follow-up exam was conducted that included an ultrasound and providing her with additional fluids. Her condition was critical as the ultrasound showed an abnormality of the bowel, and she was then anesthetized and taken to the Zoo’s Animal Health Center for a CT scan, which was done with the assistance of an equine veterinary specialist and radiologist from The Ohio State University. The CT scan did not show a blockage or other reason for her discomfort that would warrant surgery. She continued to receive intensive care from the Zoo’s animal care professionals and remained in another behind-the-scenes area, where she appeared stable and comfortable overnight. . Early this morning, her health unfortunately deteriorated rapidly once again, and she soon passed away. The Zoo’s devoted animal care team is devastated but remain committed to providing care to the other members of the giraffe herd, including Zuri who is moving back with them, as well as Cami, who is also expecting a calf soon. . We appreciate your support for our team during this extremely difficult time and will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.

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The female Masai giraffe calf named Ubumwe and her mom, Zuri, had been monitored around the clock since the birth on October 30.

The zoo said in a statement that Friday Ubumwe’s behavior was unusual. The calf passed away Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

The zoo says its animal care team is devastated.

Zuri will now be moved back in with the giraffe herd.