Tragedy Follows Long-Awaited Zoo Birth

Nashville zoo says mother giraffe accidentally stepped on newborn's neck
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2021 5:55 PM CST
Tragedy Follows Long-Awaited Zoo Birth
This photo provided by the Nashville Zoo shows a newborn giraffe at the zoo, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Nashville, Tennessee.   (Nashville Zoo via AP)

Nashville Zoo says keepers will be giving giraffe Nasha "an abundance of comfort and care for the next few days" after the tragic death of her newborn. After a 15-month pregnancy and a birth watched by thousands Saturday on the "Baby Giraffe Cam," the infant giraffe died soon after birth when its mother accidentally stepped on its neck, ABC reports. The calf had been placed with its mother to bond following a difficult labor in which the zoo's veterinary team and Matthew DeLisle from Tennessee Equine Hospital had to intervene to deliver the calf, reports the Tennessean. The zoo says the team was unable to save the baby giraffe after keepers noticed it was in distress.

The zoo says the veterinary team found the giraffe had suffered trauma to the neck, but will carry out further testing to see if any underlying issues could have contributed to the death. "We are devastated over the loss of Nasha's calf," zoo President and CEO Rick Schwartz said in a statement. "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." This was Nasha's first birth, and the zoo says she is recovering well. "Thank you all for your support over the past few weeks and during this tough time," the zoo said in a Facebook post. (Read more giraffes stories.)

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