SUAMICO - After nearly 15 months of pregnancy, the NEW Zoo's femalegiraffe, Zuri, gave birth overnight Friday.
But born weak, the 130-pound calf died 36 hours later.
"This weekend was a real tough weekend on staff because you'regoing from tears of joy to tears of sorrow," said NEW Zoo DirectorNeil Anderson.
This was the second pregnancy for Zuri, who turns six next week.The first ended in a stillborn. And yet zoo keepers andveterinarians learn valuable information with each delivery, tobetter prepare for the next time.
"What we did differently this year, we monitored herprogesterone levels," said NEW Zoo veterinarian Tracey Gilbert.
Gilbert says the size of a baby giraffe poses its own problemsduring delivery, with its long legs and neck.
"It's a much bigger challenge for these babies. They really needto be born strong in order to get up and nurse," said Gilbert.
Gilbert checked Zuri two days before delivering, and hormonelevels and the baby's heartbeat appeared fine.
Unfortunately, little is known about the actual birth of thecalf, since it took place overnight in the giraffe house and no onewas around. Zoo officials plan to install a video camera in thehouse so next time they don't miss a thing.
But even with the zoo's precautions, no birth is easy.
Just this summer, a baby giraffe died after three days at theDickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri. And a mother and calfdied during delivery at the Houston Zoo in Texas.
"Anytime an animal is pregnant and going to give birth it's nodifferent than people. It's a miracle. It really truly is," saidAnderson.
Disappointment is greeting zoo visitors who had been followingZuri's pregnancy.
"We just pretty much told her the baby giraffe was sick and wentto giraffe heaven," said Laura Kornowski, a regular visitor to thezoo with her two young children.
Zuri is currently being kept away from her mate and vets plan toput her on birth control. That will give them more time to studywhat went wrong, so if there is a next time, they'll have a betterchance of success.
On Wednesday, a state committee will release its recommendations on what Wisconsin should do with the Common Core standards.
Cheers for a big check at an Appleton elementary school.
The victim in a weekend shooting at an Appleton night club has died, according to Appleton police.
The possibility of a Walmart store in downtown Green Bay is still alive.
Driving instructors and law enforcement say lessons can be learned from Sunday’s massive pileup northwest of Milwaukee.
The village of Allouez has received a request from the owner of the Hilltop Apartments site to build a 48-unit apartment complex on the site of the burnt-out apartments.