While the world watched (and continues to watch) April, the New York giraffe expected to give birth at any time, a giraffe was born at the Denver Zoo on February 28. His name is Dobby.
Dobby was a surprise to everyone since his mom, Kipele, is 23 years old and has been on birth control. Zoo staff only recently began suspecting she was pregnant.
Just 5 feet tall and 73 pounds at birth, Dobby was about half the size and weight of a normal newborn giraffe (6 ft, 150 lbs.). Kipele was sick this year, which may account for Dobby’s small size. He was weak and had difficulty standing and nursing. A plasma transfusion helped boost his immune system and by Sunday, March 5, he was on his feet, had gained 10 pounds and, because the weather was mild, was allowed to explore the outdoors and meet the public for the first time.
Giraffe calves typically nurse for about 6 months before being weaned. They usually double in height in their first two years, reaching an average adult height of 12 feet.
Photos provided by Denver Zoo. More on the Denver Post website.