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Franklin Park Zoo mourns the loss of giraffe calf

UPDATE, 3/9/15:
As we reported following the death of our giraffe calf Kali, the necropsy did not reveal any obvious cause of death nor were there any signs of trauma or injury evident. Tissue samples were sent out for testing and  after reviewing the histopathology results we have no specific evidence for a cause of death and can only assume some sort of acute trauma as there were no infectious agents present and the calf was in excellent nutritional condition. We have been deeply touched by the condolences received since Kali’s passing.


The staff at Zoo New England’s Franklin Park Zoo is mourning the loss of Kali, our four-month-old giraffe calf.

Kali had not exhibited any signs of illness and nothing seemed amiss when the zookeepers completed their shift yesterday. Upon arrival to the Giraffe Barn this morning, the staff discovered that Kali had passed away during the night.

“We are absolutely heartbroken as we share this news. It is devastating for all the staff and especially for those who have cared for her so attentively since her birth in early October,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO. “At this time, we do not know the cause of death and are awaiting test results.”

Dr. Eric Baitchman, Zoo New England Director of Veterinary Services, and Dr. Susie Bartlett, Zoo New England Associate Veterinarian, conducted the necropsy earlier today, which did not reveal an obvious cause of death, nor any signs of trauma or injury. Tissue samples were sent out for testing and results may not be available for a couple of weeks.

Because giraffes are more temperature sensitive than other savannah animals, they are kept inside their warm Giraffe Barn when it is too cold for them to be outside. There have not been any issues with the heating inside of the Giraffe Barn.

Kali’s October 2, 2014 birth was the result of a recommended breeding between Zoo New England’s Masai giraffes - Beau and Jana. Zoo New England is an active participant in the Giraffe Species Survival Plan, which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species.