Virginia Zoo bongo mother dies after giving birth via C-section

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A bongo who recently gave birth at the Virginia Zoo has died due to complications stemming from a cesarean section birth, the zoo announced Monday. 

Jesi, a 3-year-old bongo, was being monitored after zookeepers performed the C-section late last week, which the zoo said was “the safest option for both mom and calf.” 

“Animal Care Staff and Jesi’s Keepers are mourning her loss, but know her legacy will live on through her calf, Charlie,” the zoo wrote on Facebook.

Zoo staff said that Charlie is being bottle fed and has been taken into care by Juni, a 12-year-old bongo who also recently gave birth. She gave birth on Dec. 26 to a 44-pound male named Johnny, her eighth child. 

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“The first month of life for a hand-raised calf is a very critical time and staff is carefully monitoring her as she grows,” the zoo said back on Jan. 2 about Charlie’s care.

“We will miss Jesi greatly, but know that her calf is in good hands under the watchful eye of Juni and her keepers.’

It’s been an unfortunate last few months for the zoo. A giraffe calf named Baby G died back in November two weeks after his birth. 

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