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Zoo mourns loss of third Masai giraffe

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In a string of sad events, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is mourning the loss of yet another giraffe.

Cami, a 6-year-old Masai giraffe, passed away over the weekend following a C-section.

She collapsed around 1am on December 8 and was unable to rise.

Initial blood work suggested acute kidney failure, but a full necropsy will be conducted with pathology results expected in approximately six weeks, according to a release from the Zoo.

Cami went into labor in the afternoon of December 4.

As Cami’s labor progressed, zoo staff noticed that the calf was coming out rear hooves first, presenting a situation that often times results in the death of a calf as they’re usually born front hooves first.

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In order to do everything possible to save both mom and baby, the Columbus Zoo animal care team made the decision to intervene and attempt to manually extract the calf but had no success.

They then performed an emergency C-section at approximately 8pm.

After the calf was extracted, the veterinary team found that the calf had serious congenital defects and thus would not have survived even if it had been born front hooves first.

 There are only three documented reports of a giraffe dam surviving a Cesarean section, none of which occurred in North America.

The loss of Cami and her calf follows the loss of another Masai giraffe, Zuri’s calf, Ubumwe, who sadly passed away on the morning of November 17.

While regular wellness checks conducted by the animal health team had previously shown that she was growing and developing appropriately, Ubumwe’s behavior and appearance began to change on November 16, and her health suddenly deteriorated. 

Despite all efforts, the calf did not survive.

At this time, the definitive cause of her death is still unknown until a full pathology report is received. However, there is no indication that the cause of Ubumwe’s passing was related to Cami’s health challenges after her difficult delivery and subsequent Cesarean section, or the passing of her calf, who had severe congenital defects.

“Our devoted team is truly devastated but continues to be lifted by the outpouring of concern and support we have received from giraffe lovers from around the world. The Columbus Zoo’s animal care experts made heroic efforts to try and save Cami and the calves. Every individual animal in our care is extremely important not only to us, but to their species, and as giraffe populations are declining rapidly in their native ranges, it is up to all of us to help protect them. Working to help vulnerable species like giraffes comes with both triumphant and heartbreaking moments, and even during this sad time, I am proud of the Columbus Zoo’s work on behalf of animals in our care as well as our continued commitment to the conservation of giraffes in Africa,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President/CEO Tom Stalf.

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Orange Barrel Hell: 5 road projects to avoid at all costs

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The ubiquitous orange construction barrel: a sign of central Ohio’s continual growth, and the stuff of traffic nightmares.

Road construction in central Ohio is a headache that may be impossible to avoid, but at least you can try. Here are five ongoing road projects to watch out for.

Watkins road at 33 – Closed indefinitely
A truck hit the 33 overpass at Watkins Rd on Thursday, leading to a closure of Watkins that could last for months, according to ODOT officials.

I-70 between I-270 and Wilson Rd – southbound Wilson closed for the weekend
I-270 to I-70 eastbound on the west side, as well as Southbound Wilson Road over I-70, will be closed beginning at 10 p.m. on Friday. The closure will last through the weekend. All lanes will reopen at 5:00 AM Monday.

I-71 South Side ‘Mega Fix’ Between Grove City and Columbus
The South Side construction project on Interstate 71 between Columbus and Grove City will add extra lanes, new bridges, and exit ramps throughout five miles of highway. The project will be under construction for at least three years, with completion targeted for the Fall of 2020.

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I-670 / I-270 Smart Lane
Construction on the Ohio’s first SmartLane has begun. The project spans seven miles miles of I-670 between downtown and John Glenn International Airport.

The new lane, called a SmartLane, will utilize state-of-the-art digital overhead signs installed every three-quarters of a mile to let motorists know if the lane is open to traffic. SmartLanes are intended to ease traffic congestion during peak rush hours.

3rd Avenue Widening near Railroad between Edgehill Road and Columbus Fire Station #25
Eastbound 3rd Avenue is detoured at Northwest Boulevard, except for local business traffic. This detour is expected to be in place for the rest of the year for a widening, reconstruction, and pedestrian path project.

What ongoing road project grinds your gears in your daily commute? Let us know in the comments.

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Video: Local church apologizes after kids spit on pastor

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Please consider this story your weekly reminder not to spit on people—even if they’re literally asking for it.

The Impact City Church in Pataskala has issued an apology over an Easter lesson gone wrong, in which youth minister Jaddeus Dempsey encouraged kids to slap him and spit on him. One student, at Dempsey’s direction, even cut the pastor’s bare back with a knife. The exercise was intended to teach students about Christ’s crucifixion.

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In a statement posted to Facebook, the church assured the public that there is a formal review and investigation of the incident under way from their Board of Directors:

While Dempsey’s future at the church is uncertain, perhaps this bizarre incident did manage to convey a simple lesson—don’t spit on people!

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There’s still hope for bigger, better Whitehall Kroger

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Two years has gone by since Kroger purchased a former Big Bear grocery store at the Town and Country Shopping Center in Whitehall, but the massive marketplace is still promising a bigger, better store for the community.

The place may just be a vacant lot right now, but according to This Week News, the 8.2-acre site at 3680 E. Broad St could become a shopping center with a drive-through pharmacy, fuel center, expanded kosher offerings, ClickLists, and other amenities.

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But ultimately, the project timeline is still being worked out.

Via a 15-year, 53% tax-increment-financing agreement Whitehall City Council approved in 2016, Kroger’s deadline to begin construction was pushed back from the end of 2018 to the end of 2021.

Kroger purchased the property for $4.2 million and is expected to shell out another $24 million to build the new store.


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