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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo donates plasma for struggling baby giraffe at Denver Zoo

RAW: Baby giraffe receives plasma...

DENVER - When the Denver Zoo's new baby giraffe needed a transfusion, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo stepped up to help. 

The Colorado Springs zoo donated plasma for Dobby, who has had a rough first few days of life.

Dobby was born on Tuesday. At first, he had difficulty standing and nursing. When he was finally able to start nursing, bloodwork showed that he wasn't able to receive enough infection-fighting proteins from his mother. 

On Thursday morning, Dobby was given a transfusion of plasma to restore his antibody levels to normal. “We remain optimistic that Dobby’s health will improve. However, we are taking his condition seriously. We have also provided Dobby with antibiotics to treat infection in his system and are monitoring his blood daily,” said Denver Zoo Associate Veterinarian Betsy Stringer.

Dobby's dad, Dikembe, was born at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

"We are so happy to help a fellow zoo provide cutting-edge vet care for one of their own," says Bob Chastain, President and CEO of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. "The fact that Dobby has ties to the giraffe herd at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo makes it even more special," he said.

For many years, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo staff has done voluntary training with their giraffes to have them hold still for injections and small blood samples. Recently, they were able to collect larger volumes of blood in order to bank plasma for emergency situations.

"Because of the great training by our animal care staff, we have several giraffes that are now trained to voluntarily give blood donations," says Dr. Liza Dadone, VP of Mission and Programs. "Because of that, and with donated services from Hemo Solutions, a veterinary blood processing company here in Colorado Springs, we were already able to replenish our giraffe plasma bank, just in case of any emergencies with our herd."

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