Utah's Hogle Zoo Is in Mourning after Pogo the Giraffe Who Was Pregnant Dies Suddenly

Utah's Hogle Zoo is in mourning the loss of its beloved giraffe, Pogo. She was pregnant when she died. 

A 17-year-old Rothschild giraffe named "Pogo" died on January 8. Her unborn calf, who was not due for another five months, also lost its life. 

According to the zoo, Pogo did not have any apparent health issues prior to her death, but her condition deteriorated rapidly on Sunday. She was pregnant with a male calf that was not mature enough to be saved.

The zoo revealed that that Pogo didn't appear to be comfortable a day prior to her passing in a Facebook post. According to the post, the animal care team couldn't exactly figure out what was wrong with her. 

"Our animal care team, keepers and veterinary staff, worried she might be preparing for an early delivery or stillbirth. By Monday afternoon, Pogo's condition was not improving. While veterinarians were in the barn to administer medications, Pogo lied down and we weren't able to get her up or revive her."

Hogle's giraffe keeper, Melissa Farr, described Pogo as a wonderful herd member who was quite curious in the same Facebook post. 

"She was interested in things, even if she didn't want to participate. She was a wonderful companion to the other giraffes and a perfect mother to her calves."

A picture of a giraffe. | Source: Pexels

A picture of a giraffe. | Source: Pexels

The post also revealed that the autopsy reports showed "abnormal intestines." While it could have been a possible cause for Pogo's death, but it's not clear why it happened so fast. In the same release, the zoo shared that it is difficult to care for exotic animals since they hide symptoms so well and often until its too late. 

The zoo plans to do further testings to figure out what exactly took Pogo's life but according to them, it could take weeks to find the answers. According to Dr. Nancy Carpenter, Hogle's director of animal health, the zoo will do everything they can to figure out the cause of the acute decline.

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$5 OFF AFTER 5 on Mondays! You asked for later hours to enjoy the Zoo and we listened! This summer, Monday nights are Family Nights at Utah’s Hogle Zoo! $5 off after 5p on Monday’s! Yep - arrive after 5pm on Monday and receive $5 off EACH admission (no coupon required). The best part? The Zoo stays open until 9pm so you can enjoy our beautiful summer nights, visit your favorite animals and even bring your working moms and dads along for the fun. Family dining specials in Beastro: $25 for four mac ‘n cheese meals including 21 oz. drinks $25 for four hot dogs plus four 21oz drinks Zoo members – yes this is included with your Zoo membership and is another chance to enjoy the Zoo at sunset! #zoo #hoglezoo

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Pogo, who became a member of the Hogle Zoo in 2005, was the mother to her two babies. After her demise, there are two females and a male giraffe left in the zoo. 

Even after her death, Pogo will help fellow giraffes in need since the fat tissue collected from her will be used in generating new stem cells.

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Dear friends, we have some sad news to share about our beloved giraffe Kipenzi. Our sweet 15 year- old giraffe was humanely euthanized on Friday, July 12 after she began showing signs of gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction. Many of you have been following the challenges she’s faced with her foot, but the GI issues were unexpected. Giraffes are ruminants, meaning they have four stomach chambers. Necropsy (animal autopsy) results showed gastric ulcers in one of Kip’s stomach chambers and areas of bloating and redness in her intestine which appeared to have shut down.We took tissue samples and we will wait further analysis from expert zoo pathologists. Veterinarian, Dr. Crook said, “Her GI problem was unforeseen. We’d been working daily trying to resolve her foot issue.” About her foot: Giraffes have two “toes” or claws. She injured over ten years ago so her foot was already compromised. About a year ago, the other toe became infected. Our Zoo team aggressively treated Kip’s foot with antibiotics, flushing, bandages, laser treatments and progressive stem cells. Because she has such a calm demeanor and a great relationship with her keepers, we were able to insert and maintain a catheter in her neck vein for a month. This has never been done before. This allowed us to do IV treatments. Kip is a very special giraffe and the sudden loss of a staff and community favorite is heartbreaking. Kip was the giraffe that new keepers could train with. She was also a calming presence for new giraffes – teaching them to trust the keepers. She loved greeting visitors, she loved teasing her keepers. Many of you have fed Kip during our daily giraffe feed. This elegant, graceful beauty will be greatly missed.

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In the past year, Hogle has lost two of its giraffes. Previously, a female giraffe, Kipenzi, lost her life after suffering from gastrointestinal problems. She was humanely euthanized. 

In 2016, giraffes were classified as "vulnerable to extinction" with their population rapidly declining, possibly due to the rise in the human population. While the exotic animals are native to the African savanna, they are most commonly found in the eastern as well as the southern Africa. 

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