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Special Delivery

Special DeliveryA newborn giraffe gets the help she needs from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

No. Grafton, Mass. [03.03.09] On Feb. 26, faculty clinicians at the the Hospital for Large Animals at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine began caring for a three-day-old reticulated giraffe named Molly who was born at Southwick's Zoo in nearby Mendon, Mass. She was brought to the Cummings School after her mother did not produce milk.

Veterinarians at the zoo were concerned that the calf did not receive vital antibodies from her mother's colostrum, the "first milk" that prepares newborns for growth, proper functioning of organs, and immunity from disease. Representatives from the zoo provided her with cow colostrum-a common substitute for large animals who do not receive mothers' milk-then brought her to the Cummings School's Hospital for Large Animals for her neonatal care.


Photos: See a complete set on the University Photography Blog

The giraffe was provided with intravenous fluids and glucose, as well as around-the-clock care. At three days old, the calf weighed 86 pounds and stood more than 5 feet tall. 

"She's a trouper. She really is a curious animal, and seems quite relaxed," Dr. Daniela Bedenice, an assistant professor of clinical sciences at the school in charge of Molly's care, told The Boston Globe

The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine treats about 1,900 animals each year -- mostly horses and alpacas -- at its Hospital for Large Animals. 


Molly's visit to Tufts drew attention from NBC, The Boston Globe, Associated Press, New England Cable News and more.

Media coverage:

Interview by Tufts graduate Meredith Vieira (A'75) on NBC's "Today" show

Interview on New England Cable News

Photos by Alonso Nichols, University Photography. Some material courtesy of Tufts Office of Public Relations.

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