Woodland Park Zoo baby giraffe dies of infection

SEATTLE – The new baby giraffe died Thursday at Woodland Park Zoo.

The 5 1/2-foot-tall male was born Oct. 20 and showed signs of weakness Wednesday, the zoo said.

The mother’s milk had been slow to come in and the calf did not receive maternal antibodies, usually present in the first milk, to protect it from infection.

Giraffe plasma was flown in from the Los Angeles Zoo on Wednesday, but it was too late. The calf was the first giraffe born at the Seattle zoo in four years.

The baby was kept under close observation, like all newborn animals, and was out of public view.

The calf was the first offspring of its 12-year-old mother, Mahali, and 5-year-old father, Johari.

Telemarketing settlement: More than 6,000 Washington citizens may be eligible for restitution in a nationwide settlement with Triad Discount Buying Service Inc., state Attorney General Christine Gregoire said. Washington is one of more than 40 other states that joined the Federal Trade Commission in the settlement with the Boca Raton, Fla., telemarketing company and owner Ira Smolev. An FTC statement issued Wednesday said about 275,000 people may be eligible for partial refunds from Triad companies, including Best Price USA, America’s Advantage and Discounts USA. Buying clubs offer discounts on goods and services in exchange for membership fees. Triad companies, using different names, charged up to $96 a year. According to lawsuits filed against Triad, consumers were offered “trial memberships” by telemarketers as a “thank you” after they responded to advertisements and bought products such as vitamins or magazine subscriptions. Investigators said consumers were not told that unless they canceled club memberships within 30 days, Triad would charge them on the credit card accounts they used to make their original purchases.

Biologists’ families sue: The families of two wildlife biologists killed when the small plane they were in snagged a power line and fell into the Columbia River are suing the power company and the airplane service. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees Kathleen Cheap, 48, of Irrigon, Ore., and Mike Callow, 50, of Boardman, Ore., were counting ducks and geese in a monthly aerial survey just before the November 1998 crash. The small Cessna slammed into power lines owned and maintained by the Grant County Public Utility District upstream from Vernita Bridge and fell into the Columbia River. Cheap and Callow drowned and pilot Clifton Dyers was seriously injured. Dyers owns Kennewick Air Service, and both the company and Dyers are being sued along with the PUD. The lawsuit by Cheap’s husband, Michael Hayes, and Callow’s wife, Dawn Callow, contends the utility was negligent in failing to mark power lines with warning balls or other devices.

Mormon temple to open: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicates a new temple in Richland next month. Many church members in central Washington previously had to travel to Bellevue, Spokane or Portland, Ore. The 17,000-square-foot temple cost $12 million. The dedication is scheduled for Nov. 18.

Looting plea: A transient who lived along the Columbia River has pleaded guilty to a federal charge accusing him of looting Indian artifacts from a site at the Hanford Reach National Monument. Theodore Albert Jensen Jr., 53, entered his guilty plea last week in U.S. District Court in Yakima, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday. He was accused of violating the Archaeological Resource Protection Act of 1979, which prohibits the removal or destruction of archaeological material from public or tribal land. Jensen was fined $1,492 for the damage done by his digging at the site last May. The Umatilla, Yakama, Nez Perce and Wanapum tribes all have cultural claims to land within the boundaries of the monument, which is managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Thirty-mile memorial planned: The U.S. Forest Service plans to build a memorial in the Chewuch River canyon to honor the four firefighters who died in the Thirty-mile fire. There will be a plaque, a bench, a paved trail and some parking space, said Jennifer Zbyszewski, an environmental coordinator for the Methow Valley Ranger District in the Okanogan and Wenatchee national forests. The money has been requested from Congress, and plans are to dedicate the memorial July 10, the first anniversary of the deaths of Tom Craven, 30, of Ellensburg, and Devin Weaver, 21, Jessica Johnson, 19, and Karen FitzPatrick, 18, all of Yakima. Also, the Methow Arts Alliance is trying to raise $30,000 for a community project to put up a sculpture in honor of all firefighters who have died in the line of duty in the Methow Valley, said alliance director Kate Jones-Willson.

Snake or kids: A Kelowna woman says provincial child welfare officials have told her to get rid of the family’s pet python or risk losing her nine children. The family pet is 18 feet long and weighs 140 pounds. “I never leave them alone in the room,” Kerry-Anne Koop said in an interview Thursday with BCTV as her 18-month-old baby and an older toddler played with the reptile on the living room floor. At one point, the baby chewed on the snake’s tail. She said her snake has never harmed anyone. A ministry spokeswoman said the children would be removed from the home only as a last resort.

Bad habit: A Eugene woman who was shot in the leg after she broke into three of her neighbors’ homes in July was sentenced to four years in prison. Barbara Kay Hargis, 47, was scheduled for trial this week. Instead, she pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary last week. In exchange, prosecutors dropped three robbery charges and one assault charge. Lane County sheriff’s investigators said Hargis brandished an ax and a long-handled shovel while breaking into three of her neighbors’ homes. One neighbor shot her when she returned for a second attack. Neighbors said she demanded cigarettes.

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