Heartbreak at zoo – newborn giraffe dies after being stepped on by her mom

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There is heartbreak at the Nashville Zoo following the death of a newborn giraffe. The tragic news was released by the zoo on Saturday. The zoo details what happened to the baby, who was born to a giraffe named Nasha.

The baby giraffe, so anxiously awaited by people around the world, died shortly after birth today after being stepped on by her mother. Nashville Zoo’s pregnant giraffe, Nasha, went into labor under the watchful eyes of thousands of people tuning in through an online live feed of the event. Shortly into labor, complications developed.

Nasha was not progressing appropriately with her delivery and medical intervention was required. With the help of Dr. Matthew DeLisle from Tennessee Equine Hospital, the Zoo’s veterinary team was able to successfully deliver the calf. The calf appeared to be thriving on an initial exam, said Dr. Heather Schwartz, Nashville Zoo’s Director of Veterinary Medicine.

“We moved the newborn to be with her mother and the two were bonding. During this time, Nasha may have inadvertently injured her calf. The giraffe keepers noticed that the calf was in distress.”

Though the animal team intervened, the newborn calf could not be saved. A necropsy revealed neck trauma, but further testing is being done to see if there were other factors that played into the calf’s death.

Rick Schwartz, Nashville Zoo’s President, and CEO, commented on the tragedy:

We are devastated over the loss of Nasha’s calf. Our staff has worked tirelessly to make sure this calf was given the best possible care. We moved from fear of a stillborn to joy of revival to anguish.”

According to the zoo, this was Nasha’s first birth – she is being provided with extra “comfort and care” following the devastating loss.

(Images via Nashville Zoo)

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