BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s all hands on deck at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. A baby giraffe who was born at the zoo last week was having a little trouble getting the nutrients he needs to thrive.
This baby boy is certainly getting a lot of attention. Born just a few days ago, he’s not getting enough antibodies from first-time mom, Kesi’s milk.
“We don’t think that he is nursing enough from mom, it looks like he is still attempting to do a little nursing, but it doesn’t seem to be doing enough to keep weight on him,” says Maryland Zoo Mammal Collection Manager Erin Cantwell.
She says its a problem that’s pretty common among giraffes.
“They are either great and ready to go and they latch on and everything is magical and they do what they do, or you have them and things are just not quite lining up,” says Cantwell.
After the zoo tried to simulate feeding time between mother and son, he continued to drop weight, so they turned to another zoo for help.
Zookeepers from the Columbus Zoo in Ohio drove giraffe plasma to Morgantown, West Virginia, where a zookeeper from our zoo was able to retrieve it and bring it back to Baltimore
“Everyone is more than willing to help out and give advice,” says Cantwell.
Help that is needed to get this baby outdoors with the other giraffe.
“They are pretty and cute,” says one young visitor to the zoo.
“They are fascinating because they form such close bonds, I guess,” says Dave Rose, visiting the zoo.
Bonds that are crucial to a calf’s development.
“Kesi is doing a great job, she’s protective and doing the things that she should be and this little calf if just not where we want him to be,” says Cantwell.
Zookeepers are waiting to give the new calf a name until he gets a little bigger and stronger.
Zookeepers do say the baby giraffe is doing better each day. Since Monday, the young animal has gained two pounds and blood work currently appears stable. Keepers also noted him taking a nap while they were present for the first time. All signs, according to zookeepers, that the work being don is helping.