COLUMBUS — There is more sad news today out of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, where officials announced that Cami, the 6-year-old Masai giraffe who just lost a calf during childbirth earlier this week, has died.
Zoo officials announced that Cami, who underwent a Caesarean section Tuesday, was being monitored around the clock since then but that she collapsed at about 1 a.m. and was no longer able to rise. The medical team tried to save her but she died a short time later.
The zoo said initial blood work shows the giraffe died of kidney failure, but that a necropsy will be done to be certain.
When Cami’s calf was taken earlier this week, caretakers said, it had serious congenital defects and was badly deformed. It could not have survived. At that time, the medical team said Cami was stable but her prognosis was “guarded.”
The zoo said today that C-sections in giraffes “are extremely rare and typically conducted as a last resort during a difficult delivery due to the high risks involved in putting giraffes under anesthesia.”
Officials went on to say that there are only three documented reports of a giraffe surviving a C-section, none of them in North America.
The zoo thanked everyone for being supportive while Cami’s care team, especially, mourns the loss.
“Our devoted team is truly devastated but continues to be lifted by the outpouring of concern and support we have received from giraffe lovers from around the world,” the zoo’s CEO and president Tom Stalf wrote in a release. “The Columbus Zoo’s animal care experts made heroic efforts to try and save Cami and the calves.”
The loss of Cami and her calf comes on the heels of another death: Zuri, also a Masai giraffe, lost a calf (Ubumwe) on Nov. 17. Ubumwe had been born Oct. 30.
Nineteen giraffes had previously been born at the Columbus Zoo over time. The zoo noted that it has long supported several giraffe conservation initiatives and has raised almost $200,000 for giraffe projects since 2002.
“Working to help vulnerable species like giraffes comes with both triumphant and heartbreaking moments, even during this sad time,” Stalf wrote.
Cami arrived at the Columbus Zoo in 2013 from the Nashville Zoo.