July 16, 2011

News Release

For Immediate Release

Zoo Saddened by Loss of Second Giraffe Calf

What began as a story of anticipation has ended sadly at Dickerson Park Zoo. Earlier today, the 19-year-old giraffe Gidget went into labor. Although her contractions continued steadily as zoo staff and guests observed, the progress was slow. The zoo veterinarian and zookeepers moved Gidget out of public view and into the giraffe barn for more close observation and treatment.

In the end, the veterinarian determined the calf was dead in the mother's uterus. The animal care staff assisted with delivering the female calf's body. Upon initial examination, the veterinarian determined the calf was underdeveloped. A necropsy (animal autopsy) will be performed.

Gidget is an experienced mother, having had nine successful pregnancies since 1997. One of her calves, 17-month-old "Billie," is in the exhibit yard. The animal care staff will be closely observing Gidget for any complications.

For more information, contact: Melinda Arnold, Public Relations Director, 417-833-1570 (office) or 417-848-0162 (cell), marnold@dickersonparkzoo.org

Dickerson Park Zoo
3043 North Fort • Springfield, MO 65803
(417) 833-1570 Phone • (417) 833-4459 Fax
Dickerson Park Zoo is a division of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board