SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A 3-month-old Ugandan giraffe was reintroduced to his mother and herd Monday at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park after recovering from a serious bacterial infection.
Animal keepers noticed that Leroy, born Jan. 8, showed signs of weakness and didn't eat well when he was around 2 weeks old.
Leroy was immediately transferred to the Safari Park's veterinary hospital, where it was determined he had a severe bacterial infection and his chances of recovery were slim, according to the zoo. He was treated for almost a month with antibiotics for the infection and IV fluids to keep him hydrated.
He was bottle-fed three to five times a day and monitored around the clock by the Safari Park's animal care team. After a 39-day hospitalization, Leroy was placed in a restricted area, where keepers continued to bottle-feed him and started the process necessary for Monday's reintroduction.
The Ugandan giraffe is the only one of nine subspecies that is endangered. It is believed that fewer than 700 remain in a few small, isolated populations in Kenya and Uganda. The Safari Park is home to 13 Ugandan giraffes -- five males and eight females.