OMAHA, Nebraska – The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha welcomed another calf over the weekend.
On Wednesday, zoo officials announced that Zola, an 8-year-old giraffe, gave birth to her first baby, a female, at 12:40 a.m. Sunday.
Henry Doorley Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha welcomed baby giraffe over the weekend (Henry Doorley Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha)
Less than an hour later, at 1:30, the child was standing. However, veterinary teams still provide “24/7 care” for the calf.
“Mother Zola did not show the expected level of maternal care for her calf despite a normal birth,” Henry Doorley said in a statement. “The calf’s mother, Zola, is doing well with the giraffe herd, but will continue to be monitored for any postpartum issues.”
Meanwhile, zoo officials say the giraffe’s father, Javara, 14, has played a vital role in maintaining the calf’s immune system while a team of veterinarians tries to intervene.
“Our team spends months preparing for the birth of the animals and for as many different outcomes imaginable,” said Dr. Taylor Yeow, the zoo’s director of animal health. “In this case, when we observed the mother and calf after birth, we were able to decide on an intervention. We provided the calf with food and medical care, including a plasma transfusion from Father Javara’s previously stored plasma. Our team is working on converting the calf into a bottle.”
The situation will mean that Sid and Betty Kate’s giraffe herd room at the zoo will be closed to the public from time to time to take care of the cub and allow time for silence.