DENVER – Baby giraffe Dobby made his public debut at the Denver Zoo Sunday afternoon, as dozens of people lined up to see the 5-day-old newborn.
Zoo officials told Denver7 they’re testing the waters to see how Dobby interacts out in the open.
"We just learned that our newborn giraffe, Dobby, will be venturing into his yard (in public view) in the next 15 minutes," said Denver Zoo spokesman Sean Andersen-Vie at around noon Sunday. "His caretakers say he is gaining weight and getting stronger every day. We are optimistic about his health improving, but are still monitoring him closely."
The announcement comes after the newborn received a plasma transfusion Thursday, following tests that showed a lack of infection-fighting proteins in the calf.
Five-foot-tall Dobby, a male reticulated giraffe, was born Tuesday at 3 a.m. to mother Kipele.
Zoo staff said they didn’t know until recently that Kipele was pregnant, though they had their suspicions. Zookeepers were able to confirm the pregnancy via ultrasound and predicted a due date in late February or early March.
Dobby’s birth brings the total number of giraffes at the Denver Zoo to five.
Kipele was born at the Denver Zoo in 1993 and is currently the zoo’s oldest giraffe. Dobby’s father, Dikembe, was born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs in 1993 and moved to Denver in 1996.
The Denver Zoo has been caring for giraffes since 1973 and since then, more than 70 giraffes have been born and raised at the zoo. Dobby is the zoo’s first birth since October 2010.
Dobby is expected to be on display at the zoo until about 3 to 3:30 p.m., a Denver Zoo spokesman said.
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