Baby giraffe at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium dies

Kevin Stankiewicz


Nov 17, 2018 at 1:12 PM
Nov 17, 2018 at 1:12 PM

A little more than two weeks after it was born, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s baby giraffe died on Saturday. The cause of death isn’t yet known.

A baby giraffe born last month at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium died Saturday morning, the zoo announced on Facebook.

The giraffe’s birth on Oct. 30 was significant for the zoo because it hadn’t welcomed a giraffe calf since 1999.

The cause of death is not yet know, but in general, baby giraffes have high mortality rates. Giraffes born in captivity have a 25-percent mortality rate and those born in the wild have a 50-percent rate, according to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

In September, a 2-month-old baby giraffe died at The Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center 75 miles southeast of Columbus that the zoo operates.

Staff at the Columbus Zoo noticed Friday afternoon that Ubumwe, the female baby giraffe, began behaving and looking differently, according to the Facebook post.

Ubumwe received fluids and medicine to relieve what was found to be constipation and other gastrointestinal pain. Later in the day, however, zoo staff noticed Ubumwe appeared to still be in pain.

An ultrasound revealed abnormality of the bowel, according to the post, and Ubumwe was taken in critical condition to the zoo’s Animal Health Center for a CT scan. 

The scan didn’t reveal the need for surgery, but Ubumwe continued to receive care and be monitored overnight. She appeared comfortable, but her condition quickly declined in the morning, the post said.

Ubumwe’s mother, Zuri, is returning to the giraffe herd.

Cami, a 6-year-old giraffe who also is pregnant, is due any day.

“The Zoo’s devoted animal care team is devastated but remain committed to providing care to the other members of the giraffe herd,” the post read.



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