Sadness at giraffe death
Published: 28th Aug 2013Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is sad to announce the death of its giraffe baby. The male calf was found in its stall by keepers early on the morning of Wednesday 28th August. It…
Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is sad to announce the death of its giraffe baby.
The male calf was found in its stall by keepers early on the morning of Wednesday 28th August. It was born to mother Janica and father Yoda on Tuesday 20th August.
Senior Head Keeper of Mammals Matthew Webb said: “Keepers were watching the calf closely each day and he had been doing very well, he was strong and active, coming out with the rest of the herd and resting in the paddock in the sun.
“His mother was attentive but it’s possible that either she did not have enough milk, or was simply not allowing him to feed properly. Giraffe babies can go downhill very quickly - with most new-borns, if they get ill or haven’t fed properly they will fade very rapidly. We did not step in, as he was obviously getting milk – hand rearing is very much a last resort. This was a shock to all of us.”
Paignton Zoo Curator of Mammals Neil Bemment said: “This is very sad, but when you work with animals there are ups and downs and you have to carry on, especially when you are working with endangered species.
“A post-mortem examination will be carried out. One possibility is that he had not had enough milk from mum, but he could have caught an infection, so we can’t be sure at this stage.”
Janica has had three calves: Tonda, who went to Chessington earlier in the year, Valentino and this calf.
The Zoo’s herd consists of adults Yoda, Janica and Sangha and juveniles Valentino and Otilie. They are all Rothschild's (Baringo) giraffes. Rothschild's giraffes are classified as Endangered – there is a European Endangered species Programme for the species.