Ubumwe, a female Masai giraffe calf born Oct. 30, died Saturday morning. PHOTO BY GRAHM S. JONES, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Columbus Zoo’s baby giraffe passes away after 18 days

Columbus Zoo officials announced Saturday that Ubumwe, the female giraffe calf that was born Oct. 30, has died.

Zoo officials said in a series of Facebook posts that Ubumwe had been energetic and nursing well in her first two weeks, weighing an estimated 130 pounds a week ago. But she began experiencing “gastrointestinal discomfort” Friday afternoon, leading to multiple tests and treatment.

READ MORE: Beloved Boonshoft Zoo animal has died

An ultrasound showed an abnormality of the bowel, but after receiving intensive care from the zoo’s animal care professionals, Ubumwe appeared comfortable overnight, according to the zoo’s statement.

But early Saturday morning, the Masai giraffe calf deteriorated rapidly, and she soon passed away. Zoo officials said the cause of death is unknown, pending an autopsy and a pathology report that will take several weeks.

Thousands of people followed Ubumwe’s birth and first weeks, watching via the online “Giraffe Cam” through National Geographic. One of the zoo’s other giraffes, Cami, is expecting a calf soon.

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