Baby giraffe dead, hours after birth at Lucknow zoo

Lucknow, May 6 (IANS) For 14 months, anxious animal lovers waited for a pregnant giraffe at the Lucknow zoo to give birth. All the hope turned to gloom, when the baby giraffe died, soon after birth, officials said.

Zoo authorities told IANS that the female baby died two hours after birth. The mother Sujata had a complicated, prolonged labour. “It is a very sad moment for us. Despite everything being normal during the pregnancy, we lost the new inmate,” Renu Singh, the zoo director, told IANS.

Sujata who was brought from the Alipore zoo in Kolkata in 2002 along with her mate Anubhav, conceived 14 months back. Doctors said she would be due for delivery May 7. She went into labour Saturday night, causing veterinary doctors attending to her concern. By Sunday afternoon, she gave up eating and had to be separated from Anubhav. She was restricted to a separate enclosure, and she gave birth Sunday evening.

The zoo staff’s joy, however, was short-lived. The baby giraffe showed no vital signs of life soon after her birth.

“We could see that the baby was not moving, she lay limp. The team of doctors went in to treat the baby giraffe, but to no avail,” Singh said.

The team of vets had a tough time gaining entry to the enclosure, as the mother giraffe got wild with all the people around.

It was with difficulty that the baby was separated from the mother, so doctors could attend to her.

An autopsy was conducted on the baby’s body late evening. She was cremated in the zoo premises, zoo officials said.

While zoo officials are maintaining a stoic silence about the reasons for the death, there are some who complain that a large number of visitors had gathered near the enclosure of the giraffe, and Sujata was not allowed peace while in labour.

People were filming the birth on mobile phones. Zoo staff tried to shoo away those who had gathered, but the crowd was determined not to miss the rare sight.

There was also a verbal spat between those eager to film the birth and the zoo staff, leaving the mother giraffe disturbed, a nature lover said.

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