The adorable giraffe calf who was rejected by her mother and had to be fed cow’s milk by Austrian zookeepers has been named ‘Strong’ in reference to her tough start in life.
The baby giraffe was born to mother Fleur and father Obi at Schoenbrunn Zoo in the Austrian capital Vienna on 23rd January.
The female calf has now officially been named ‘Amari’, meaning ‘strong’ in the African language Yoruba.
After her birth, the animal’s health was in jeopardy because her mother refused to feed or care for her, leaving zookeepers no choice but to feed her cow’s milk instead.
The head of the zoological department, Eveline Dungl, said: “For Fleur, it is the first offspring. Unfortunately, inexperienced mothers often find themselves overwhelmed with rearing in the wild. Especially with first-time mothers, there is never a guarantee that everything will go well from the start.”
According to Dungl, despite the ongoing challenges faced by the nursing team that feeds the newborn giraffe with pasteurised Holstein Friesian cow’s milk, the mother appears much more relaxed now.
The zoo reported that the milk, which they obtain from an Austrian farmer from the town of Laab im Walde, has a similar composition to that of a giraffe.
In addition, zoo vets perform body temperature and weight checks regularly, as the condition of the calf needs to be closely monitored.
Dungl said: “Our giraffe girl has shown real strength of will and perseverance over the last few weeks. The animal is developing well, exploring her surroundings with interest, and dashes around the giraffe park.
“The group of giraffes is getting better and better at dealing with the situation, and interactions between the calf and mother Fleur are also increasing.
Zoo director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck said: “We have therefore opened the giraffe park temporarily since last week so the herd can slowly get used to visitors again. With a bit of luck you can even catch a glimpse of Amari. However, she is still mostly in the back area of the facility.”
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