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New baby giraffe at Woodland Park Zoo gets therapeutic shoes

The newest baby giraffe at a Seattle zoo has been outfitted with therapeutic shoes to help treat abnormalities in his rear legs.

The giraffe was born to his mom, Olivia, earlier this month last Thursday and had to have his legs radiographed after the zoo’s health team noticed his rear feet were not in normal alignment.

Woodland Park Zoo says casts were applied to his legs to help stabilize his limbs a day after his birth.

KIRO 7 reports that after the zoo consulted with colleagues at other zoos and sought medical literature, the zoo’s exhibit team crafted two-piece shoes made of high-density polyethylene and plywood.

Treatment is expected to last over several months for the still-unnamed calf weighing 170.5 pounds.

“As soon as he was born, our animal care and health staff connected with this baby giraffe as we do with all of our animals,” said Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Zoo, in a news release. “He’s a symbol of hope for the future of his species and already lives in our hearts. We’re rallying for this new animal to thrive and we’re very grateful to our community and fans who have already showed an outpouring of love for our baby giraffe.”

Olivia and her calf will remain off view for an indefinite period to allow for maternal bonding and nursing, zoo officials said. The baby is the first offspring between Olivia, 12, and Dave, a 6-year-old giraffe at the zoo. Olivia had her first baby in 2013 with a different mate. Lulu was the last giraffe born to Tufani at the zoo in 2017.

To follow updates, you can go here www.zoo.org/giraffe. Spring and summer zoo hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.

The Associated Press and KIRO 7 contributed to this report.

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