Baby giraffe making strides in recovering from severe infection

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SAN DIEGO — A giraffe born last month at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is recovering from a severe infection that left him unable to stand, the zoo announced.

Park staff provided round-the-clock care to Baridi after he was discovered to be ill. The calf was admitted to the facility’s veterinary center and given intravenous fluids.

“Taking care of Baridi has been a very rewarding experience for all of us keepers,” said Lissa McCaffree, lead keeper in the Animal Care Center nursery at the park. “He’s been a pleasure to work with. He has a great personality, and we looked forward to feeding him every day.”

Nursery staff members said Baridi will soon be strong enough to join the herd’s other four young giraffes — Congo, Siri, Yamikani and Kafele — in the East Africa exhibit, where they are often seen together in a creche, or nursery group.

Park officials said it is typical for young giraffes to stay together in a herd while their moms forage.

The Safari Park’s giraffe breeding program has produced more than 164 giraffe calves since the Park opened in 1972.

Two giraffe subspecies — the West African or Nigerian giraffe, and the Rothschild’s giraffe — are considered endangered. The primary dangers are poaching, habitat loss and overgrazing of resources by livestock.