Orphaned baby giraffe Jazz dies as his best friend watches over him

Collage of Jazz the giraffe and Hunter the dog dog-sad
© The Rhino Orphanage – Facebook

An unlikely pairing of a giraffe and a Belgian Malinois made headlines a few days back. Now, sadly, news has reached us of the death of Jazz, the orphaned calf.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 10/12/2019, 14:15, Updated on the 19/12/2019, 15:22

Just a few weeks ago a giraffe abandoned by his mother was brought into care at the Rhino Orphange in the Limpopo province of South Africa. Charity workers set to work and looked after the calf, but he was never steady on his legs nor 100% healthy.

Last week the orphanage reported with great sadness that Jazz had died due to a brain haemorrhage, and that Hunter - Jazz's live in canine mate - was with him to the end.

At the time of Jazz's arrival, we wrote that the orphange’s anti-poaching Belgian Malinois had bonded unexplicably with Jazz. The dog had a “heart of gold”, and watched over his ward as if he was a brother. When Jazz was sick Hunter refused to eat; when he had better days Hunter seemed upbeat.

Jazz's last breaths

Anouncing Jazz's passing away, the orphanage wrote in its most recent post, “Our Team is heartbroken as we announce that our beautiful, brave boy, Jazz the giraffe, passed away.

The last 2 days before we lost him, Jazz started looking unstable on his legs and very dull, almost like he wasn't registering everything.”

The orphanage workers tried in vain to help Jazz from the moment he arrived at the sanctuary. But they knew they had their work cut out. The reason Jazz was abandoned in the first place was because his mother knew he was weak and poorly.

In the last few hours of his life, orphanage staff refused to give up the fight to keep Jazz alive. Hunter too, refused to leave the giraffling's side.

Treatment in vain

Added a spokesperson from the Orphanage, “His friend Hunter knew something was wrong as he suddenly stayed by the giraffe's side again not going outside. Jazz took his last breath with Hunter and all his human mommies by his side.”

The shelter was congratulated online for the efforts of workers to provide Jazz with a meaningful and comfortable existence, albeit one that was all too quickly cut short.

Hunter is doing well,” the orphanage later wrote. “He stayed till the end and said his goodbyes. He sat in front of Jazz's empty room for a while and then went to our carers for comfort.



"We will update everyone on his progress as he can now get back to training to be a tracking dog.

He is eating well and playing with his brother again. Such a good boy.”