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Nashville Zoo Baby giraffe at Nashville Zoo
A newborn giraffe at the Nashville Zoo has died after being stepped on by her mother, a giraffe named Nasha.
"We are devastated over the loss of Nasha's calf," Rick Schwartz, Nashville Zoo's President and CEO said in the announcement on Saturday. "Our staff has worked tirelessly to make sure this calf was given the best possible care. We moved from fear of a stillborn to joy of revival to anguish."
The zookeepers believe that the baby was injured by her mother soon after she was born due to signs of trauma to her neck.
Nashville Zoo Giraffes at the Nashville Zoo
The zoo's director of veterinary medicine, Dr. Heather Schwartz, said that while the calf "appeared to be thriving" upon their initial exam, keepers noticed she was in "distress" after being moved to be with Nasha.
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"We moved the newborn to be with her mother and the two were bonding," Schwartz said. "During this time, Nasha may have inadvertently injured her calf. The giraffe keepers noticed that the calf was in distress."
The newborn giraffe was the first baby born to mom Nasha. The Nashville Zoo team said they will be taking extra good care of her following the tragic death of her calf.
"She is doing well and the giraffe keepers will be giving her an abundance of comfort and care for the next few days," zoo officials said.
The zoo said that additional testing will show if there were any underlying causes for the baby giraffe's death.