Dog That Tended Baby Giraffe: 'He Stayed Till the End'

Hunter the watchdog immediately took to Jazz, abandoned by his mother, at shelter
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2019 10:10 AM CST
Abandoned Baby Giraffe Dies, BFF Right Next to Him
In this Nov. 22, 2019, file photo, Jazz is fed at the Rhino Orphanage in the Limpopo province of South Africa.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

When Jazz, a days-old giraffe, arrived at the Rhino Orphanage animal shelter in Limpopo, South Africa, a few weeks ago, he wasn't doing so well. A farmer had found the giraffe, abandoned by its mother and dehydrated and frail, and called the shelter to take Jazz in. What happened next was heartwarming, per the New York Times: The shelter's resident watchdog, Hunter, immediately took to Jazz, and the two became inseparable, taking walks together and even sleeping next to each other. Which is why when things took a turn for the worse last week for Jazz, it wasn't surprising Hunter stuck right next to the sick giraffe, who the shelter says on Facebook started to become wobbly and out of it, "almost like he wasn't registering everything."

Jazz eventually collapsed and died of a brain hemorrhage, the shelter says, taking "his last breath with Hunter and all his human mommies by his side." In a statement, the shelter's founder says that staff anticipated the giraffe would die, because its mother had likely abandoned it because it was sick. "So we finally know that Jazz didn't have a bad giraffe mother that left him," the statement notes, per the AP. "She just knew. ... But we still have to try every single time [to help] no matter how hard it is." As for Hunter, he "stayed till the end and said his goodbyes," the shelter says. "He sat in front of Jazz's empty room for a while and then went to our carers for comfort." He seems to be doing better of late, "eating well and playing with his brother again," the shelter adds. "Such a good boy." (More giraffes stories.)

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