December 6, 2019, 7:25 PM
3 min read
A baby giraffe that was befriended by a dog after he was abandoned in the wild has died, a South African animal orphanage said Friday. “Our team is heartbroken,” the orphanage said.
Jazz the giraffe collapsed after hemorrhaging in the brain, The Rhino Orphanage said in a Facebook post. “The last two days before we lost him, Jazz started looking unstable on his legs and very dull, almost like he wasn't registering everything," it said. “He suddenly collapsed and we could see blood starting to pool back into his eyes."
Resident watchdog Hunter seemed to realize something was wrong and didn't leave the baby giraffe’s side, and was there when he died, the orphanage said. The dog then sat in front of the empty room for hours before going to its carers “for comfort."
Orphanage staff had expected this to happen, assuming that the mother giraffe had abandoned the baby for a reason, Arrie van Deventer, the orphanage's founder, told The Associated Press.
“So we finally know that Jazz didn't have a bad giraffe mother that left him," the orphanage's statement said. “She just knew. ... But we still have to try every single time (to help) no matter how hard it is."
The baby giraffe had arrived a few weeks ago, just days after birth. A farmer found him in the wild, weak and dehydrated, and called the center for help.
The orphanage's Facebook page, which featured several dozen photos documenting Jazz's progress during his weeks at the facility, showed the baby giraffe and his canine friend sleeping side by side on blankets and wandering outdoors together. A final photo showed Hunter sitting in front of the closed door of the room where he and the giraffe had spent time together.
The post had thousands of views and hundreds of comments expressing sadness for the giraffe's passing and concern for how Hunter would handle the loss of his friend.
The two animals bonded immediately, caretaker Janie Van Heerden said.
In its post, the orphanage paid tribute to Hunter's loyalty. “He stayed till the end and said his goodbyes,” it said. "Such a good boy. It added that Hunter was doing well and would continue training to be a tracking dog.
In its farewell to the giraffe, the orphanage said :“You have taught us so much in the last three weeks and we will remember you fondly.""
The giraffe was buried close to the orphanage, van Deventer said.
These huge creatures are herbivores, and they have some well-equipped tools up their sleeve to help them survive. Their big ears regulate heat to help keep them cool, and use their trunks for eating, drinking, breathing and grabbing objects. Their trunks are also used to suck up water and spray themselves, kind of like a do-it-yourself shower, which they love. Afterwards, they cover themselves with with dust and sand, which acts as a layer of sunscreen and insect repellent.
They have strong tusks that are used to dig for food and strip bark from trees, males also use these tusks when battling each other. However, elephant tusks are made of ivory, a material, which is valuable in some cultures. This leads to around 20,000 elephants being killed each year and their tusks being sold illegally around the world, especially in some parts of Asia.
Cricket South Africa has suspended chief executive Thabang Moroe following allegations of misconduct.
A number of journalists had their media passes revoked last weekend, with Moroe saying he was unhappy with their reporting on the governing body.
The passes were later reinstated, but the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) has since called on Moroe and the CSA board to resign.
England travel to South Africa on 13 December for a four-match Test series.
There is currently no selection panel in place for the series against England, which begins on 26 December.
Standard Bank also said on Friday it would not renew its sponsorship deal of the men's team because of the issues at CSA.
The SACA said poor leadership had put South African cricket in a "disastrous position".
"It is ludicrous to expect players to be selected by unknown selectors," SACA chief Tony Irish said.
"We know the players will give 110% for South Africa on the field, but it is critical a proper professional structure is in place around the team."
Irish ruled out the possibility of a player strike before the England series, saying industrial action was "a very last resort".