Cami, the mother of a Masai giraffe calf that died earlier in the week after birth complications, died Saturday. (Photo: Columbus Zoo)
Photo: Grahm S. Jones
Photo: Grahm S. Jones

Mother giraffe dies 4 days after her calf

Cami gave birth by caesarian section Tuesday after her calf appeared to be presenting rear hooves first, not front hooves as they are supposed to. 

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The livestream cameras were turned off and veterinarians intervened. After the birth, it was determined the calf had serious congenital defects and would not have survived even if it had been born front feet first.

After the procedure, Cami was monitored by zoo staff. She collapsed around 1 a.m. Saturday and was unable to get up, zoo officials said.

She was immobilized and assessed by veterinarians; however, she died shortly after. 

Initial bloodwork indicates acute kidney failure. A full necropsy will be conducted, and results are expected in several weeks.

Giraffes’ survival rate after a cesarean section is extremely low. There are only three documented cases of survival, and none were in North America.

Cami, 6, came to the facility in 2013 from the Nashville Zoo.

The Columbus Zoo had been the site of 19 successful giraffe births until the last month.

Ubumwe, a giraffe calf born Oct. 30, died Nov. 17 after her health rapidly declined.

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