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Nashville Zoo mourns death of newborn giraffe that was stepped on by its mother

Posted at 8:57 AM, Jan 18, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A newborn giraffe at the Nashville Zoo died shortly following its birth after being stepped on by its mother by accident, the facility says.

The calf's birth was highly anticipated and watched by people around the world through an online livestream.

The zoo shared that a medical team successfully helped the mother giraffe, Nasha, through the delivery process, which involved some complications. An initial exam showed the calf to be "thriving."

The team moved the newborn with its mother and later noticed the calf to be in distress. They say Nasha may have inadvertently injured the calf, which died.

Initial testing showed the calf had neck trauma. The zoo will look into any possible underlying causes.

"We are devastated over the loss of Nasha's calf," Nashville Zoo President and CEO Rick Schwartz said. "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 Nashville Zoo says Nasha is doing well. Staffers will provide her with "an abundance of comfort and care."

This story was originally published by Kelsey Keny at WTVF.