Giraffe Calf Stillborn
A much anticipated birth at the Greenville Zoo, ends in tragedy. Autumn the giraffe gained international attention thanks to a web cam at the zoo, and people all over the world followed her first pregnancy two years ago. But Wednesday morning, her second pregnancy ended when she delivered a stillborn male calf.
There was a somber mood at the Greenville Zoo Wednesday, when for the second time in less than a year, zoo staff as well as visitors, had to deal with the questions of life and death.
Staff sadly saying they knew the calf was in trouble when it presented feet first at the start of delivery, just after 3 a.m. "The calf was not alive when it was born, and it did not have a heartbeat," says Dr. Heather Miller. "We did give him some epinephrine, some dopram, to try to see if we could start a heartbeat, but we had no success doing that," she says.
Doctors on zoo staff said they saw fetal movements as late as Tuesday, but the calf never took a single breath. Many visitors struggled to explain to their children what happened to Autumn, the seven-year-old Masai Giraffe mother. "Death is hard, it's a hard thing to face, and I wanted my children to know that as well. It's always a sad time, they shouldn't be afraid to be sad," says zoo visitor Wendy Tucker.