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Update on Giraffe Calf Born May 2

Posted by Gigi Allianic, communications
Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, Woodland Park Zoo

On May 2, Olivia, gave birth to a male giraffe. Less than 12 hours after his birth, the zoo’s animal health team intervened to radiograph and diagnose abnormalities found in his rear legs. 

The little giraffe already has the entire zoo rallying for him.
The baby giraffe was on his feet and walking within an hour after he was born. “However, we noticed right away that each rear foot was not in normal alignment, a condition known as hyperextended fetlocks,” says Dr. Darin Collins, director of animal health at Woodland Park Zoo. “We have applied casts on both rear legs to help heal the tendons, which is the current best practice in treating this condition in newborns. Treatment will most likely span over several months. The baby is in guarded condition and we will continue to monitor him closely.”

This condition is found in horses and has been reported to occur in giraffes, explains Collins. “He otherwise is healthy and continues to nurse and bond with mom,” adds the director of animal health at Woodland Park Zoo. 

The animal health team carefully casts the newborn's rear legs.
During the veterinary procedure, the baby weighed in at 155 pounds. Mom and her baby will remain off view in the barn for an indefinite period and to allow continued maternal bonding and nursing in a cozy, private setting.

The unnamed baby giraffe was born on May 2 to mom Olivia and dad Dave. You can catch up on the birth story here:

We know that you are all sending good vibes for this little one to heal and we thank you very much for your support and well wishes at this time. It means so much to have support from our zoo communityand we will pass along your words of encouragement to our animal keepers and animal health staff. We will keep you updated here on this blog, but you can also see updates by visiting and following the zoo’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

“As soon as he was born, our animal care and health staff connected with this baby giraffe as we do with all of our animals. He’s a symbol of hope for the future of his species and already lives in our hearts. We’re rallying for this new animal to thrive and we’re very grateful to our community and fans who have already showed an outpouring of love for our baby giraffe,” says Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Zoo.

Keeper Phil comforts the baby giraffe during the casting procedure.


Anonymous said…
We're out here cheering you on Baby Boy. And may all the keepers, medical team and all involved in the care of this sweet baby, be guided in all that you do for him.
JanFitzgerald21 said…
Baby boy, you are in the best possible hands! The staff at Woodland Park Zoo is awesome and will help you heal quickly. You have a great mom in Olivia, and she and your aunt Tufani will take good care of you while your dad Dave watches over you. We're praying for a speedy recovery!
Unknown said…
Take heart, baby boy. Hope at the Topeka Zoo had the smae issue and she is thriving now!
Anonymous said…
Kudos to all the keepers and caregivers for the love of this gorgeous calf. The world is cheering you on.
kindafoggy said…
Beautiful baby. I think "Manolo" might be a suitable name :)
aschnetz said…
Is the giraffe calf reunited with Olivia between treatments so that it can continue to nurse?
Unknown said…
Prayers to this precious boy and the keepers. Hope had the same thing when she was born at topkia zoo and she is fine now and a mommy. Love all giraffes so cute
Anonymous said…
Come on baby boy!!! You can do this with a little help. You already have lots of love and prayers
Unknown said…
Sending love and best wishes for a speedy recovery from Florida.
Unknown said…
Maybe he can be named in honor of Ignacio Ponseti!!! He was the doctor that developed the cast treatment for clubfoot on babies( which Carrie's his name) My son was also born with bilateral clubfoot, and it's treated in Iowa by Dr. Morcuende, Dr. Ponseti successor!
Unknown said…
I am so amazed what these little guys go thru and still have so much love, I wish you and your staff the best turn out possible. I can't give my heart as willingly as I still have a hole in it following Penny Lane at the Cheyene Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. My Love to All the keepers for caring so much.
zenseas said…
Good luck with this beautiful boy, and thank you for your wonderful work. I love your hug while he was being casted too. ❤️❤️❤️