A giraffe calf born on Feb. 28, 2017, has undergone a life-saving procedure due to complications that resulted from low birth weight. The Denver Zoo announced the birth of Dobby, a Reticulated giraffe, who was underweight and struggling due to birth complications through a press release. A second update stated that Dobby received a life-saving plasma transfusion in attempts to give Dobby the best chance at survival. Additionally, the Denver Zoo released a video showing the procedure and Dobby’s current condition. You may watch that video below.
According to the Denver Zoo, Dobby was born on Tuesday, at 3:00 a.m. weighing 73 pounds and is five feet tall. The average newborn giraffe calf is six feet tall and weighs approximately 150 pounds. Dobby’s small stature was concerning to staff from the beginning. It wasn’t long after birth that staff determined Dobby was having nursing issues and received critical care following his birth. Unable to nurse and feed well, Dobby wasn’t receiving the proper nutrients and proteins required for optimum health, causing the zoo to sanction Dobby’s plasma transfusion.
A report by WPNG states that zoo staff was unaware Dobby’s mother Kipele was pregnant as she was taking birth control pills. Denver Zoo Animal Care Vice President Hollie Coolahan released a statement.
“Like with people, birth control and exotic animals is not always 100 percent, so we had a little oops, and a few weeks ago the keepers started noticing signs that she was pregnant and started making preparations and confirmed it with ultrasound.”
The original press release described staff’s discovery that Kipele was pregnant.
“Zookeepers and veterinarians did not know until recently that Kipele was pregnant. Zookeepers suspected she might be pregnant, despite birth control, because her stomach and udder were becoming larger. She initially resisted attempts from veterinarians to perform ultrasounds, but eventually allowed the zookeepers she interacts with every day to place the ultrasound probe on her abdomen, while veterinarians monitored and guided from another room. Working together, they were able to verify that Kipele was pregnant with a due date of late February or early March.”
Giraffes have a gestation period of approximately 15 months and their fertility cycles run every 17 days, making it difficult to know when conception has occurred. Dobby’s parents are mom Kipele, 23-years-old who was born at the Denver Zoo in August 1993 and dad Dikembe, 23-years-old who was born at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Dec. 1993. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, where Dikembe was born, donated the plasma to help give Dobby a fighting chance for survival.
— Celebrity News (@UpdatedCeleb) February 22, 2017
Approximately seven years ago another Reticulated giraffe was born at the Denver Zoo. On April 4, 2010, the Denver Zoo welcomed the birth of giraffe calf Cricket. The zoo videotaped Cricket’s birth and you can watch that video below. A video of Dobby’s birth has yet to be released.
The news of Dobby’s birth and health issues comes at a time when millions have anticipated the birth of another Reticulated giraffe calf in Harpursville, New York. April the giraffe is pregnant and many have watched the live cam waiting for the moment of her birth. While April’s story went viral, Kipele’s pregnancy was virtually unknown. People are glued to the Internet waiting for April’s calf to appear, while Dobby quietly made his arrival and has had a difficult time since.
Stay tuned as we’ll have more updates on Dobby’s health condition and while April the giraffe’s story continues to go viral more people are concerned and praying for Dobby. In face, much of the April View Crew (devoted fans who’ve watched April’s live cam online from the beginning) have gathered in unity to support and pray for Dobby.
Are you following Dobby’s progress? Are you watching April the giraffe online and waiting for her calf to be born?
[Featured Image by Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock]