Mom, Baby Giraffe Both Die After Birth Complications At Columbus Zoo


Monday, December 10th 2018, 1:35 pm
By: News 9


A giraffe named Cami from the Columbus Zoo has passed away four days after an emergency Cesarean section, from which her calf also did not survive.

In a press release from the Columbus Zoo, staff said Cami went into labor Dec. 4. Cami collapsed early morning on Sat., Dec. 8, and was unable to rise. The veterinary team provided her with fluids and medical care, but she died a short time later.

The zoo said initial blood work suggests Cami had acute kidney failure.

The zoo said Cami began to show signs of labor around 3 p.m. Dec. 4. As her labor progressed, staff said it became clear that the calf was being born rear hooves first. Giraffe calves are typically born front hooves first, and the zoo said it is extremely rare for calves to survive if they are born rear hooves first.

In order to attempt to save Cami and the calf, zoo staff decided to intervene and tried to manually extract the calf. Unsuccessful, they had to then perform an emergency C-section.

After the calf was out, the veterinary team found that it had severe birth defects and would not have survived even if it had been born front hooves first.

The zoo also said C-sections in giraffes are extremely rare and are only conducted as a last resort during a difficult delivery due to the high risks that come with putting giraffes under anesthesia. There are only three documented reports of a giraffe mother surviving a C-section, none of which occurred in North America.

Cami was six years old and came to the Columbus Zoo in 2013 from the Nashville Zoo.

The loss of Cami and her calf comes just after the Columbus Zoo lost another giraffe calf named Ubumwe on Nov. 17. Her definitive cause of death is still being investigated, but the zoo said her health deteriorated rapidly the day before she died.

Community members took to Facebook to show an outpouring of love and support for Cami, her calf and the zoo staff.

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