The zoo staff is waiting on pathology results to confirm the mother's cause of death

By Claudia Harmata
January 14, 2021 03:04 PM
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Credit: Abilene zoo/ facebook

The Abilene Zoo in Abilene, Texas, is taking extra care of their 11-week-old giraffe calf after his mother died unexpectedly on Tuesday.

Zoo officials said that their 11-year-old giraffe, Sunny, died suddenly on Tuesday morning, according to Abilene Reporter-News.

"Today, unfortunately, we are coming to you with very sad news," a zoo official said during a Facebook Live. "Our 11-year-old giraffe mom, Sunny, passed away unexpectedly."

The zoo is currently waiting on pathology results to confirm the mother's cause of death as it was not evident in the initial necropsy.

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"We don't have any more information than we had on Tuesday regarding Sunny," zoo officials said in a second Facebook Live on Thursday. "We're anxious for information as well."

The staff said they reached out to other zoos that have cared for motherless giraffe calves for advice and information on how to provide proper care for Sunny's calf, Edward.

As of Thursday, the other mother giraffes at the zoo have not allowed him to nurse, so the baby giraffe is drinking goat's milk as well as eating grains, vegetables and other solid foods.

"He's a fan of it. We have had two days consistently, which is great news, of him drinking the goat's milk," one staff member said in the zoo's Facebook Live.

Sunny gave birth to Edward in October. He was the second baby giraffe born in 48 hours at the Abilene Zoo, according to KTAB.