After Problems Nursing, Denver Zoo's Newborn Giraffe Given Plasma

A newborn giraffe at the Denver Zoo received a plasma treatment on Friday, March 3, after he had problems standing and nursing.

The transfusion was to restore the calf’s antibody levels after a blood test showed he wasn’t receiving enough infection-fighting proteins. The plasma was donated by the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

The zoo welcomed the birth of Dobby, the name given to the male calf, on Tuesday. He measured five feet tall and weighed 73 pounds, both small numbers for a newborn giraffe. The birth happened as people watched a livestream of it from New York’s Animal Adventure Park.

The zoo didn’t know Dobby’s mother was pregnant until recently. Kipele, Dobby’s mother, was given birth control, but zookeepers suspected she might be pregnant a few weeks ago because her stomach and udder were becoming bigger, according to the zoo. She initially resisted ultrasounds with veterinarians, but eventually allowed zookeepers she knows to perform the test.

“This was certainly a welcome addition to the Denver Zoo family,” said Brian Aucone, Denver Zoo Senior Vice President for Animal Care & Conservation, in a press release. “Dobby may not have been a planned birth, but now that he’s here, we’re excited to have him and look forward to him engaging with our guests.”

Kipele was born at Denver Zoo in August 1993, and is the oldest of the zoo’s giraffes. Dikembe, Dobby’s father, was born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in December 1993 and arrived at Denver Zoo in February 1996. Credit: YouTube/Denver Zoo via Storyful