2-day-old baby giraffe dies at Calgary Zoo

A male calf was born a few days after Christmas to a six-year-old Masai giraffe at the Calgary Zoo, but died 48 hours after it was born.

Male calf was born Dec. 28, but died 48 hours later

The male calf was born to this Masai giraffe, named Emara, that came to the Calgary Zoo from the San Diego Zoo to take part in a breeding program as part of the Species Survival Plan. (Calgary Zoo)

A baby giraffe has died at the Calgary Zoo just 48 hours after it was born. 

The zoo said the male calf was born to Emara — a six-year-old Masai giraffe — on Dec. 28, but that the young animal was clearly not doing well.

"He was just a bit slower than some of the other calves that we've had, slower to get on his feet and then he just wasn't nursing," said Colleen Baird, general curator at the Calgary Zoo. 

"So day one, he was trying to figure it out and wasn't able to nurse at all, didn't quite get to the right spots or latch on, from what we could tell. So we felt like we needed to intervene."

Awaiting test results

She said the following day, staff fed him through a tube and then left him alone to see if he could figure it out. 

"That evening, he passed away," she said. 

Baird said they're still waiting on some test results to determine what went wrong, but initial results show there could have been some congenital issues.

"There's more to this story, we just need to be patient with the test results and that will tell us some stuff about what, internally, was happening with that calf," said Baird.  

Emara was brought to the Calgary Zoo from San Diego in 2016 as part of a breeding program. Since then she has given birth to three calves including the recent male. The other two calves were stillborn.