For the newest addition to the Denver Zoo, life is off to a wobbly start.
But thanks to some help from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the 3-day-old giraffe calf is still standing.
The local zoo donated a plasma transfusion for Dobby, born Tuesday, who needed it to boost his immune system after he was struggling to stand on his first day of nursing and wasn't able to benefit from the infection-fighting proteins in his mother's milk.
The transfusion, along with a colostrum supplement that will replace some of the missing proteins, will help restore the levels of antibodies in Dobby's blood, allowing him to better fend off bacteria and viruses, according to a press release from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
"We remain optimistic that Dobby's health will improve. However, we are taking his condition seriously," Denver zoo veterinarian Betsy Stringer said in a statement. "We have also provided Dobby with antibiotics to treat infection in his system and are monitoring his blood daily."
Dobby, like the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's 16 long-necked residents, is a member of the Reticulated subspecies. His father, Dikembe, was born at the local zoo, which is home to the largest giraffe herd of any zoo, according to the organization's website.
Giraffes at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo are trained to be still as small blood samples are taken, allowing the zoo to collect large volumes of blood for use in emergencies.
"We are so happy to help a fellow zoo provide cutting-edge vet care for one of their own," Bob Chastain, president and CEO of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, said in a statement. "And the fact that Dobby has ties to the giraffe herd at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo makes it even more special."
Contact Rachel Riley: 636-0108