The Calgary Zoo’s newest resident has tragically passed away.
Emara, an eight-year-old giraffe, gave birth to a baby giraffe on Sunday, September 29, though the calf was born smaller than expected and eventually died sometime in the night between Friday, October 4 and Saturday, October 5.
“We are heartbroken to announce that our male giraffe calf passed away overnight,” a recent post from The Calgary Zoo’s Facebook page states.
“We knew when he was born so tiny that it would be an uphill battle, but had high hopes that the love of his Mama and round the clock care from our team would be enough to help him begin to thrive.”
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Over recent years, Emara has had two late-term miscarriages as well as a calf that was born ill who died within 48 hours, a release from the Calgary Zoo states.
“Pregnancy issues in giraffes are rare, so we have been working with specialists and zoos across North America to help Emara successfully become a mom this time,” said Dr. Doug Whiteside, the senior staff veterinarian for the Calgary Zoo, in an earlier release.
To help Emara along with her most recent pregnancy, the zoo decided to put her on progesterone supplements after it was discovered that her progesterone levels had been declining as her pregnancy progressed.
An effort that, unfortunately, would prove to have been in vain.
“We are supporting Emara and our team through this devastating outcome. Please join us in remembering our littlest tower.”
According to an earlier release from the zoo, Masai giraffes such as Emara are classified as endangered, as wild giraffe populations have gone down by over 40% over the past 30 years as a result of illegal hunting, civil unrest, and habitat loss.
“As populations decline in [the] wild, accredited zoos like the Calgary Zoo, possess unique genetic diversity that sustains healthy managed populations as a result of Species Survival Plan (SSP) breeding recommendations,” the release states.
“Animals kept in human care, such as the ones loved and cared for by the Calgary Zoo team, have the potential to re-introduce genetic diversity back into the wild in the future.”