The Columbus Zoo is mourning the loss of a Masai giraffe calf following birth complications.
The giraffe calf’s mother, Cami, began to show signs of labor around 3 p.m. Tuesday in the behind-the-scene area of the Heart of Africa area of the zoo.
“As Cami’s labor progressed, it became evident that the calf was presenting rear hooves first,” the Zoo said. “Giraffe calves are typically born front hooves first, and it is extremely rare for calves to survive after being born rear hooves first.”
The zoo’s animal care team made the decision to enter the stall and turned off live stream cameras that were broadcasting the birth.
“During the intervention, the Zoo’s animal care team, as well as a large animal surgeon from The Ohio State University, attempted to manually extract the calf from Cami without success,” the Zoo said. “They then performed an emergency Cesarean section at approximately 8 p.m.”
Cami is in stable condition and she is continuing to be monitored by staff following the birth. The calf was found to have serious congenital defects and would not have survived.
The calf’s death follows another calf death at the zoo last month. Ubumwe died Nov. 17 after being born Oct. 30. Ubumwe’s health declined rapidly before the calf’s death, according to the zoo.