HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – The Hattiesburg Zoo’s Reticulated Giraffe Sue Ellen has experienced a pseudopregnancy resulting in no calf.

Zoo officials released a timeline of her pseudopregnancy, as well as information about the giraffe’s health, treatment and care.

Timeline

  • In December 2021, weight gain was noticed in Sue Ellen.
  • In January, mammary development was noted.
  • During February, a month’s worth of fecal samples was collected, and sent for testing in March.
  • After Sue Ellen’s due-date passed, and extra time was taken into account because her previous pregnancy was long, the animal care team ran another pregnancy test, which came back with a negative pregnancy report.
  • There was no ultrasound test run initially because they are often inconclusive and can be very stressful to the mother, which can lead to other complications.
  • Upon receiving the negative test result at the end of July, a decision was made to move forward with an ultrasound as a means of assurance along with other testing. These results when combined with the negative pregnancy test point toward a pseudopregnancy.

According to zoo officials, pseudopregnancy is a condition that resembles pregnancy, but there is no fetus incubating in the uterus. Pseudopregnancy can lead to bodily changes and false positive pregnancy tests.

According to officials, Sue Ellen is doing great. She will be on exhibit later this week.

There are no plans to breed Sue Ellen or Bertie at this time. Giraffe feedings will resume in the Fall of 2022.