This story was updated at 3:45 p.m. ET, December 5, 2018.
A giraffe mother at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium named Cami went into labor December 4th, but the live footage of the animal was taken down.
The calf was being born with its rear hooves first, which is unfortunate; "It is extremely rare for calves to survive after being born" this way, the zoo said in a statement. Owing to the circumstances, "the Columbus Zoo animal care team made the decision to enter the stall and turned off the Nat Geo WILD livestream cameras at approximately 4:50 p.m. to allow for the necessary intervention and to ensure that Cami and the calf’s health and safety were not compromised as a result." The calf died soon thereafter.
"We are saddened to report the loss of a Masai giraffe calf." the statement continued.
"During the intervention, the Zoo’s animal care team, as well as a large animal surgeon from The Ohio State University, attempted to manually extract the calf from Cami without success. They then performed an emergency Cesarean section at approximately 8 p.m. While Cami’s condition is currently stable, her prognosis remains guarded, and she will continue to be monitored around the clock by the Zoo’s animal care experts. Cesarean sections in giraffes are extremely rare and typically conducted as a last resort due to the high risks involved in putting giraffes under anesthesia and successful recovery. After the calf was extracted via Cesarean section, the veterinary team found that the calf had serious congenital defects and thus would not have survived even if it had been born front hooves first.
Giraffe numbers have plummeted across Africa by 40 percent over the past three decades with less than 100,000 animals remaining. Factors for the giraffe decline in population include habitat loss, habitat degradation, habitat fragmentation and illegal hunting (poaching).
Minutes after being born, giraffes can stand—here's how they do it.
About Secrets of the Zoo
Secrets on the Zoo, which you can watch on National Geographic WILD, gives unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to one of the nation’s largest and most popular zoos… The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. With 2,000 employees, 10,000 animals and more than 100 animal births each year, Secrets of the Zoo tells the dramatic, heartwarming and often hilarious stories of the wildlife… and wild people, that it takes to create a loving and healthy landscape for the animals and animal lovers alike.
Secrets of the Zoo returns in June of 2019.
About The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is home to nearly 10,000 animals representing over 600 species from around the globe. The Zoo complex is a recreational and education destination that includes the 22-acre Zoombezi Bay water park and the 18-hole Safari Golf Club. The organization also operates The Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center and safari park located in southeastern Ohio. The Zoo is a regional attraction with global impact, annually contributing more than $4 million of privately raised funds to support conservation projects worldwide. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Columbus Zoo has earned Charity Navigator’s prestigious 4-star rating.