2-Day-Old Giraffe Euthanized at San Diego Park After It Couldn't Stand

A two-day-old giraffe has been euthanized at San Diego Zoo Safari Park after having difficulty standing and nursing.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park announced the death of the unnamed male Masai giraffe on January 20 with a "heavy heart".

In a Facebook post, the park said that following the birth, wildlife care specialists noticed a deterioration in the calf's condition.

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The San Diago Safari Park announced the news on a Facebook post on 20 January.

The veterinary team noticed that the calf had difficulty standing and nursing.

He was taken to the Harter Veterinary Medical Center, where veterinary staff provided around-the-clock medical care.

After treating its worsening condition for a few days, the park said it took the decision to euthanize the calf.

The park said: "Unfortunately, despite all efforts, his condition continued to worsen, and the team made the compassionate decision to euthanize the calf. Zindzhi and the other members of the giraffe herd are being monitored closely for any unusual behavior after the calf's passing."

The park asked readers to offer condolences to all who are feeling the "difficult loss."

In a comment on the Facebook post, the park said that so far, the rest of the giraffe herd is "doing well."

The calf was born on January 17 to a giraffe named Zindzhi, who was a first-time mother.

When the baby giraffe was born a few days ago, the park said in a Twitter post: [We] welcomed a brand new wobbly wonder just in time for what would have been Betty White's 100th birthday. We could not think of a more fitting way to remember her dedication to conservation than watching this newborn giraffe take their first steps."

On a separate Facebook post, the park said that it was "thrilled" to be able to honor her life and legacy in this "special way."

As well as being an actress, White was a wildlife advocate. She worked with many conservation organizations, including San Diego Safari Park, throughout her lifetime.

Healthy giraffe calves can usually stand up, run around and feed within an hour of being born, meaning that one that doesn't is a cause for concern.

When giraffes go into labor, they stand up to push the calf out. When the baby giraffe emerges, it drops to the ground. The fall can be about 6 feet.

There are 35,000 Masai giraffes left in the wild today. In the last 30 years, their population has fallen by nearly 50 percent.

The Masai giraffe was declared endangered in 2019. In the wild, Masai giraffes live on the savannahs of Kenya and Tanzania in east Africa.

baby giraffe
A stock image shows a baby giraffe with its mother. Giraffe calves can usually stand up within an hour of being born. Janugio/Getty Images