The Calgary Zoo is a great place to see beautiful animals from all over the world, but just as it is in nature, not every animal can make it. Sometimes, the most vulnerable are the ones who are lost. It was announced on October 5 that the Calgary Zoo's new baby giraffe had died overnight.
"We are heartbroken to announce that our male giraffe calf passed away overnight," the Calgary Zoo wrote in a Facebook post. "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."
The calf was born on September 29 to eight-year-old mama giraffe Emara, who had previously had trouble with pregnancy. Two previous attempts ended in miscarriage, and one baby died soon after birth due to defects. The cause of the calf's death is currently unknown, but a necropsy will be performed to determine what happened.
According to an Instagram post from the Calgary Zoo, when the calf was born, he was slightly smaller than expected due to arriving at the early end of the gestation period. "These next few days are critical for our newest addition," the post said.
Emara was given progesterone by Zoo staff in order to increase the likelihood of a successful pregnancy. This type of treatment had never been given to a giraffe before but has been used in humans and domestic animals with histories of miscarriage.
People offered their condolences on Twitter to both the mother giraffe and the Calgary Zoo.
"They were so hopeful... so very sorry. Calgary Zoo's new baby giraffe dies," wrote @HeartGiraffes.
"Just heard the Calgary Zoo’s new baby giraffe died and I don’t think I’ll be happy again," wrote @victoriamdennis.
Other tweets criticized the treatment of animals being kept in captivity. "Zoos are heart-breaking! It's sickening that they still exist," wrote @Bettie_xo.
"We are supporting Emara and our team through this devastating outcome," Zoo staff wrote on Facebook. "Please join us in remembering our littlest tower."