Everybody say “Awww…” (updated)

Get ready to babytalk at your computer screen. At least that’s what I’ve been doing ever since I opened up this email from the Cummings School for Veterinary Medicine at Tufts.

Meet a 2-day-old baby giraffe, now recuperating in the neo-natal unit:

baby giraffe

Oh hello, you sweet, sweet thing.

baby giraffe

Access to the baby, born to a giraffe at Southwicks Zoo in Mendon, has been restricted (see press release below).

baby giraffe

Maybe there’s something wrong with her neck? It can’t be easy to birth a giraffe.

baby giraffe

And yes, an animal that size really is two days old. Holy… um, giraffe.

baby giraffe

Get well soon, little darling.

UPDATE! Tom Keppler at Tufts has kindly passed on this press release:

Baby Giraffe Receiving Care at Cummings School

Clinicians say three-day old female doing “quite well” in neonatal unit

North Grafton, Mass., February 26, 2009 – Faculty clinicians at the Hospital for Large Animals at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine report that a three-day-old reticulated giraffe in their care is in stable condition at the hospital’s neonatal unit.

Born at Southwick’s Zoo in nearby Mendon, Mass., the female giraffe, named Molly, was brought to the Cummings School after her mother did not produce milk. Veterinarians at the zoo were concerned that the calf did not receive vital antibodies from her mother’s colostrum, the “first milk” that prepares newborns for growth, proper functioning of organs, and immunity from disease. Representatives from the zoo provided her with cow colostrum-a common substitute for large animals who do not receive mothers’ milk-then brought her to the Cummings School’s Hospital for Large Animals for her neonatal care.

“Today, the giraffe is doing quite well,” said Dr. Daniela Bedenice, an assistant professor of Clinical Sciences at the school and the camelid expert in charge of the giraffe’s care. “Our students report that she’s been nursing well, and although she still has a potential for infection, she’s improved over the past day tremendously.”

Dr. Bedenice reported that the giraffe is being provided with intravenous fluids and glucose, as well as around-the-clock care. The calf weighs 86 pounds and stands more than 5 feet tall at three days old. Her mother, Mauzy, is doing quite well.

Southwick’s Zoo is currently closed for the season and will open full-time on April 11.

Indigenous to Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia, reticulated giraffes are known for the spider web-like pattern on their coats. Giraffes are the tallest of all living land-based species.

Due to concerns about disease transmission, access to the giraffe has been restricted by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, which treats about 1,900 animals each year-mostly horses and alpacas-at its Hospital for Large Animals.


23 thoughts on “Everybody say “Awww…” (updated)

  1. That is the cutest thing I’ve seen in a really long time. In some of the shots, it doesn’t even look real – I’ll bet it’s super soft! I wonder if it will be going to a local-ish zoo…

    Thanks for posting this!

  2. Thanks for the UHub link, Adam!

    I’m trying to figure out who has giraffes locally. I think Southwick. Would Franklin Park bring a giraffe all the way out here? And if her mother isn’t with her, does Medela make a giraffe size Pump-In-Style? So many questions!

  3. I know the Roger Williams zoo just had a baby giraffe born in December. I’m guessing Southwick, but there’s nothing on their web site to indicate the arrival of a new giraffe.

  4. Since I have recovered from my nightmares about that cow-stomach thing at the Tufts fair, I’ve actually been trying to come up with a similar system for my own traditional food processing. Just keep chowing on some suculent steak tips, and then ….. pop the belly cap and pull em out. It would save me a lot of trouble.

    Tufts is cool.

  5. The bandage around Molly’s neck is just to hold her IV catheter in place (for easy access for meds). So far as I know her neck is fine. I was one of the very lucky students who got to ogle her before access was restricted!


  6. hey Jessica, can we get her to the farmers market opening day? The common does not allow animals, but nobody seems to follow that rule.

  7. I’ve been thinking about the giraffe story, and it reminded me of a question that irks me a bit – and is totally unrelated to giraffes. Why is this a story listed as one that took place in North Grafton? It just seems like it should be regular old Grafton (with a different zip code, and a different post office).

  8. AJ…that cute giraffe is certainly in the northern part of the town, but I think if I’m sending a letter to her I should just address it as Grafton. The postman can use the zip to figure it out.

  9. Michael – isn’t it kind of like Waban and Nonantum? They are both part of Newton, but still have their village identities. And then there is Chestnut Hill, MA which is partly in Newton and partly in Brookline. Go figure. I’m not a big fan of the three zip code thing, but I haven’t been around long enough for my opinion to hold water. What I want to know is – can I put my letters to 01536 in the Local Mail mailbox at the Post Office in the center of town?

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