The Columbus Zoo has been left devastated following the death of a baby giraffe.
The zoo, located in Ohio, revealed the news on Twitter Tuesday, explaining it was due to complications during its birth and a number of birth defects.
“It’s with great sadness we report the loss of the giraffe calf. To try and save mom and baby, the team performed an emergency C-section.”
“They found the calf had series congenital defects and would not have survived. We appreciate our community’s support,” the statement concluded.
Jen Fields, Director of Communications for the zoo, explained on the attraction’s website that the mother giraffe, Cami, began to show signs of labor around 3 p.m. on Dec. 4.
However, they quickly realized something was wrong. “It became evident that the calf was presenting rear hooves first,” Fields explained.
“Giraffe calves are typically born front hooves first, and it is extremely rare for calves to survive after being born rear hooves first.”
Cami’s labor was initially broadcasted on a livestream but Columbus Zoo staff made the decision to end the viewing given the complications.
Shortly after, the Zoo’s animal care team and an animal surgeon from The Ohio State University attempted to remove the calf vaginally, but they weren’t successful, Fields explained. They then performed an emergency c-section.
Following the delivery, the veterinary team discovered the calf had “serious congenital defects” and would not have survived — even if it was born front hooves first.
At this time, Fields says Cami is in stable condition but will be monitored by animal care experts.
Cami is a 6-year-old Masai giraffe, who came to the Columbus Zoo in 2013 from the Nashville Zoo. Cami’s partner’s name is Enzi, an 8-year-old male Masai giraffe who also came to the Columbus Zoo in 2013.
The death of Cami’s calf came shortly after another Masai giraffe named Zuri’s calf Ubumwe died on Nov. 17, a few weeks after being born.
Ubumwe’s cause of death remains unknown.