OMAHA, Neb. (KCAU) — A female giraffe calf was born at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha early Sunday morning.
According to a press release from the zoo, the calf was born at around 12:40 a.m. and stood successfully for the first time about 40 minutes later at 1:30 a.m. She weighed 108 pounds and was 5-feet, 7-inches at the time.
The zoo said that her mother is an 8-year-old giraffe named Zola and her father is a 14-year-old giraffe named Jawara. Zola is a first-time mother.
The zoo said that veterinary and animal care teams are currently providing the calf with care at all times because her mother did not show the expected levels of maternal care. The zoo said they made sure to prepare for this scenario prior to the calf’s birth.
“Our team spends months preparing for animal births and for as many different outcomes as imaginable,” said Dr. Taylor Yaw, Director of Animal Health for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. “In this case, as we monitored Mom and calf after the birth, we were able to make the decision to intervene. We provided nutrition and medical care to the calf, which included a plasma transfusion from father Jawara’s previously banked plasma. Our team is working to transition the calf to a bottle.”
The staff at the zoo said that they have been very excited about the birth and are working hard to help her survive.
“Our teams are excited about this birth, and cautiously optimistic that our treatments, supportive care and unwavering dedication will help this baby Giraffe survive,” said Dr. Luis R. Padilla, President and CEO of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. “Our Giraffe calf is in the best hands, receiving continuous care and love from our talented veterinarians, technicians and caretakers.”
The zoo said that the mother, Zola, is currently doing well with the herd but will continue to be monitored.
The zoo is temporarily closing down the Syd and Betty Cate Giraffe Herd room in order to provide care and give the calf quiet time. Future updates can be found on their website and social media.
The zoo has welcomed five giraffe calves into their current barn, the most recent one before Sunday being born in 2021. There are currently eight female and two male giraffes at the zoo.