A newborn giraffe has died in a tragic accident shortly after it was born when it was stepped on by its own mother.
The incident occurred at the Nashville Zoo and was announced on Jan. 16 2021, when the zoo’s pregnant giraffe named Nasha went into labor as thousands of people watched the event live online during a live feed.
Shortly after labor, however, complications with the baby giraffe began to develop and medical intervention was required from Dr. Matthew DeLisle from the Tennessee Equine Hospital and the zoo’s veterinary team who were able to eventually successfully deliver the calf.
“The newborn giraffe appeared to be thriving on an initial exam, said Dr. Heather Schwartz, Nashville Zoo’s Director of Veterinary Medicine. “We moved the newborn to be with her mother and the two were bonding. During this time, Nasha may have inadvertently injured her calf. The giraffe keepers noticed that the newborn giraffe was in distress.”
According to a statement from the Nashville Zoo, the animal care team immediately intervened but were unsuccessful in their attempts at reviving or saving the newborn giraffe.
A necropsy showed that the newborn giraffe had suffered trauma to the neck but the giraffe will undergo further testing to see if there may have been any underlying causes involved with the death although initial observations did not indicate anything specific.
This was Nasha’s first birth and the Nashville Zoo said that she is doing well in spite of the tragedy and that zookeepers will be giving her “an abundance of comfort and care for the next few days.”
Nasha’s pregnancy was being followed by thousands of people all over the world.
The zoo also posted the tragic news on Instagram saying: “We are heartbroken to announce that Nasha’s newborn giraffe died shortly after our birth announcement earlier … Thank you all for your support over the past few weeks and especially during this tough time.”