SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) A three-week-old giraffe calf born at Utah's Hogle Zoo died Wednesday. Zoo representatives say the calf born on December 28 was underweight and shorter than normal. The baby giraffe also showed noticeable signs of not being fully developed as her hooves and osicones ('horns' on top a giraffe's head) were not as mature as they should have been.
Keeper and veterinary staffs kept a close watch on the calf, but the baby was also not putting on weight at a normal rate.
Despite the zoo's intensive medical therapy, the calf did not survive and died on Jan. 18, weighing 113 pounds which keeps say is quite small for a three-week-old giraffe.
"In general, giraffe babies do not need any help to thrive. This baby faced challenges from birth and despite all of our efforts, was not able to make it. It is always hard to lose a baby," said Dr. Nancy Carpenter, Director of Animal Health.
"We all fell in love with this little giraffe," said giraffe keeper, Holly Peterson. "For something so small she has left a huge hole in our hearts and in the giraffe barn."
Hogle Zoo currently has four giraffes, male (and father) Riley and females Kipenzi and Pogo, mom to one-year-old Willow.
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