ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The baby giraffe born at Seneca Park Zoo nearly 20 days ago was euthanized following a medical complication, zoo staff announced Friday.
According to veterinary members at the zoo, the calf was born with a congenital abnormality of his front fetlock joint and has not shown signs of recovery despite therapy efforts.
“The calf was showing additional signs of degradation. He was increasingly lethargic, nursing less, and showing signs of stress, which indicate decline in the quality of life,” Dr. Chris McKinney said. “While some fetlock issues can heal, the calf’s limb abnormality was especially pronounced.”
The male calf was born just 17 days ago, marking the second born giraffe at the zoo since April.
Upon birth, he was fitted with a leg splint in a bid to relinquish pain from his physical condition. The mother of the baby is one of the zoo’s two female giraffes. The other gave birth to a male named Olmstead on April 22. He was the first Masai giraffe ever born at the zoo.
According to Dr. McKinney, giraffes bear most of their weight on their front limbs, making it very difficult for them to recover from the joint abnormalities. He showed no signs of improvement, and his overall condition was in decline as he grew rapidly.
On Thursday, Seneca Park Zoo also announced the death of a rare snowy owl baby. The owlet was one of two that hatched at the local zoo on July 25.
The calf named Olmsted or Olmy, born in April 2022, continues to thrive. The Zoo’s Animals of the Savanna building may remain closed at least through this weekend so that animal care teams can monitor stress levels in the giraffe herd.