(Salt Lake City, UT) – Hogle Zoo staff is saddened to report that their eight-month-old giraffe calf, Jamar, was found dead Sunday (March 28). The male giraffe was born July 30, 2009 at Utah’s Hogle Zoo.

When Jamar was born last summer to first-time mom Kipenzi, he seemed to be a normal baby. Though the giraffe had been eating, showing normal digestion and exhibiting appropriate behaviors, animal staff recently noticed his development was slower than usual as began the natural transition over to an adult diet. On Sunday Hogle Zoo keepers discovered the young giraffe had passed away sometime in the early morning hours in the giraffe barn. Hogle Zoo veterinary staff performed a necropsy later that day and ultimately sited “failure to thrive” as cause of the giraffe death.

It is not uncommon for “failure to thrive” to occur with inexperienced first-time mothers like Kipenzi who may have a weak maternal instinct that sometimes results in calf deaths. Additionally, Jamar was always an extremely independent baby which, together with his mother’s inexperience, may have contributed to his failure to thrive. The baby giraffe was at the critical weaning period which is a delicate time for young animals as they transition from nursing to solid foods.

Hogle Zoo has successfully raised many giraffes over the past three decades but is disappointed by this loss. Jamar was popular after his birth last summer and he will be greatly missed by Hogle Zoo visitors and staff. Six-year-old mother Kipenzi and father Riley, also six-years-old, are on exhibit in the giraffe building at Utah’s Hogle Zoo.

Visit Hogle Zoo online at www.hoglezoo.org or for more information, contact Community Relations Coordinator Holly Braithwaite by email at hbraithwaite@hoglezoo.org or call (801) 584-1729.

About the Association of Zoos & Aquariums: Utah’s Hogle Zoo is one of only 221 institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).  Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things.  AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information visit www.aza.org.

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