Hattiesburg Zoo’s giraffe is not pregnant in any case, officers say

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Sue Ellen, Hattiesburg Zoo’s reticulated giraffe will not be having a child in any case, zoo officers mentioned Wednesday.

“Sue Ellen has skilled a pseudopregnancy leading to no calf,” the zoo mentioned in a information launch.

Sue Ellen and her daughter Alberta got here to the zoo in April 2021 and made their public debut in Could that yr.

The pair got here from the Audubon Louisiana Nature Middle’s wildlife conservation program. The Hattiesburg Zoo additionally participates in animal conservation.

In December, Sue Ellen started to realize weight. A month later, zookeepers famous mammary improvement — a standard signal of being pregnant.

Tall orders: Hattiesburg Zoo prepares for debut of first giraffes, Sue Ellen and Alberta

Outcomes from testing finished in March confirmed an elevated degree of the hormone progesterone, one other indicator of being pregnant.

“Via the testing course of with Sue Ellen, we’ve been in a position to contribute to analysis that’s being finished to raised check for being pregnant in giraffes,” mentioned Jeremy Cumpton, director of Conservation, Training and Wildlife on the zoo. “There’s some consolation that comes from understanding our expertise will assist different zoos higher perceive and handle pseudopregnancy.”

The gestation interval of a giraffe is roughly 15 months, so zookeepers started to observe and wait. 

“After Sue Ellen’s due date handed, and further time was taken under consideration as a result of her earlier being pregnant was lengthy, the animal care crew ran one other being pregnant check, which got here again with a unfavorable being pregnant report,” zoo officers mentioned.

What else is new? Hattiesburg Zoo plans to open a water park in 2023.

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An ultrasound was not run when the zoo first realized Sue Ellen was pregnant, “as a result of they’re typically inconclusive and may be very nerve-racking to the mom, which may result in different problems,” the zoo mentioned. “Upon receiving the unfavorable check end result on the finish of July, a choice was made to maneuver ahead with an ultrasound as a way of assurance together with different testing. These outcomes when mixed with the unfavorable being pregnant check level towards a pseudopregnancy.”

Sue Ellen, left, and her daughter Alberta have been getting acclimated to their new home at the Hattiesburg, Miss., Zoo, Thursday, May 13, 2021. The giraffes will make their public debut Saturday.

Zoo officers have been disillusioned within the information.

“This can be a tough time for our animal care employees,” mentioned Kristen Moore, animal curator for the Hattiesburg Zoo. “Basically we’re grieving for a child that wasn’t there, and although this isn’t an unprecedented scenario, our crew is experiencing some unhappiness.”

A pseudopregnancy is a situation that resembles being pregnant, however there isn’t any fetus incubating within the uterus regardless of exhibiting signs of an actual being pregnant, zoo officers mentioned. Pseudopregnancies occur throughout many species, together with people.

In the course of the time Sue Ellen was believed to be pregnant, she and Alberta have been separated for the reason that mom wished Alberta to nurse. Alberta and Sue Ellen have been nonetheless allowed to see one another with out bodily contact.

Sue Ellen is doing nice as she comes out of her pseudopregnancy and will likely be on exhibit once more with Alberta later within the week. Giraffe feedings will resume within the fall.

“We love Sue Ellen and are completely happy that she is of course biking out of the pseudopregnancy and is doing nicely,” Moore mentioned.

Up shut and private:Hattiesburg Zoo guests feed Sue Ellen the giraffe

Zoo officers have been assisted by a crew of veterinarians and animal consultants together with, veterinarians Drs. Scott Rosenbloom and Sean Perry; Michelle Hatwood, common curator with Audubon Species Survival Middle; Dr. Liza Dadone, giraffe medication and conservation specialist with Cheyenne Mountain Zoo; and Rodrigo Salvador Garces Torres, affiliate veterinarian, Audubon Species Survival Middle.

Do you have got a narrative to share? Contact Lici Beveridge at lbeveridge@gannett.com. Comply with her on Twitter @licibev or Fb at fb.com/licibeveridge.

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