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A male calf giraffe, born on Sunday, is shown in this handout image next to his mother Emara at the Calgary Zoo. The Calgary Zoo says a giraffe that was born there earlier this week has diedMona Keith/The Canadian Press

The Calgary Zoo says a giraffe that was born there earlier this week has died.

In a Facebook post Saturday, the zoo says the male calf that was born last Sunday to an eight-year-old Masai giraffe named Emara passed away overnight.

The post says staff knew when he was born “so tiny” that his survival would be an “uphill battle,” but they had “high hopes that the love of his Mama and round the clock care” would be enough to help him begin to thrive.

Emara had three previous pregnancies, but two ended in miscarriages and a third produced a calf that died due to birth defects.

This time around Emara received progesterone supplements — a treatment apparently not tried on a giraffe before.

The post notes that the zoo is “heartbroken.”

“We are supporting Emara and our team through this devastating outcome. Please join us in remembering our littlest tower,” the post said.

Zookeeper Mona Keith had said after the calf was born that he was a little smaller than expected, indicating he probably arrived at the early end of the 15-month gestation period.

Emara arrived at the Calgary Zoo in the summer of 2016 from the San Diego Zoo.

Progesterone supplements are commonly provided to women, as well as domestic animals, with a history of miscarriage.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 5, 2019.

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