Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s newborn giraffe was found splayed in her stall early Wednesday, but made it back to her feet by afternoon after hours of medical attention.
A rotating team of zoo staffers attended to the baby giraffe while thousands of people watched the zoo’s live video on Facebook.
The severity of the condition of the baby giraffe, born last week and the 200th to be born at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, was not immediately understood by the zoo staff.
"This (splaying) can be anywhere from not very serious and treatable to life threatening," wrote Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in a post on Facebook.
After taking X-rays, the zoo staff found no evidence of dislocated hips. The baby giraffe was helped back onto her feet around 12:30 p.m. and moved to an area with sand so she could have more traction.
Later Wednesday, zoo staff decided it was “in the best interest of the calf” to separate her from her mother, 20-year-old Muziki. She will be “hand-reared” by zoo staff, a Facebook post says.
The calf is the 18th member of the zoo’s herd, with another on the way. The next baby giraffe is expected to be born any day, zoo staffers say.
The zoo is asking for help naming the female calf. She was about 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighed about 120 pounds when she was born June 4.
"After hundreds of great name suggestions, we have narrowed it down to three choices, each of which has a special significance," the zoo’s website says.
The options are CC, which means 200 in Roman numerals; Mia, short for mia mbili, which means 200 in Swahili; and Penny, short for Penrose, inspired by the zoo’s founder, Spencer Penrose.
Vote online until July 1 at cmzoo.org/index.php/help-us-name-giraffe-calf-200.
More votes can be cast at the zoo. Every bundle of giraffe lettuce purchased allows the zoo visitor to vote at the lettuce hut.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has the largest reticulated giraffe herd of any North American zoo, its website says.
Giraffes are a "vulnerable' species, one stop above "endangered," according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which chronicles the status of at-risk species on its internationally renowned Red List.