Utah's Hogle Zoo Bids a Tender Goodbye
Hogle Zoo is sad to announce the passing of three-week old giraffe, a female calf, born December 28.
At birth, the calf was underweight and shorter than normal. She also had noticeable signs of not being fully developed as her hooves and osicones ('horns' on top of a giraffe's head) were not as mature as they should have been.
As per normal protocol, keeper and veterinary staffs kept close watch on the calf and protected the privacy of mom and baby. Animal care began to notice the baby was not putting on weight at a normal rate, typically one-two pounds a day, even though the calf was nursing.
"We know that mom had milk but it's difficult to know if it just wasn't enough milk or if the calf just wasn't able to nurse well enough to sustain herself," said Dr. Nancy Carpenter, Director of Animal Health.
Despite the Zoo's intensive medical therapy, which included diet supplementation, vitamins, IV fluids and tube feeding, the calf did not survive and passed away on Jan. 18, weighing 113 pounds; quite small for a three-week-old giraffe. "In general, giraffe babies do not need any help to thrive. This baby faced challenges from birth and despite all of our efforts, was not able to make it. It is always hard to lose a baby," noted Dr. Carpenter.
This was the third birth for Kipenzi. She had a successful birth in 2012, a female calf sent to Maryland Zoo. Her first calf, born in 2010, did not survive.
"We all fell in love with this little giraffe," said giraffe keeper, Holly Peterson. "For something so small she has left a huge hole in our hearts and in the giraffe barn."
Hogle Zoo currently has four giraffes, male (and father) Riley and females Kipenzi and Pogo, mom to one-year-old Willow.
** MEDIA INQUIRIES AND REQUESTS SHOULD GO THROUGH ERICA HANSEN, 801-541-6112**