Little Larry is a lucky fellow after keepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in the United Kingdom rescued him from his mother who had abandoned him. Larry was born on the 9th of October but keepers noticed his mother was not feeding him.
Whipsnade Zoo is the only place in the UK where Thomson’s gazelles are held and they only had 3 animals before the birth of Larry. When they noticed he was not feeding they made the difficult decision to separate him from his mother.
Team Leader, Mark Holden said, “It’s always a last resort to separate a calf from the group, but little Larry was getting very weak and needed our help.”
As he required numerous feeds a day Mark had to take him home to care for him. This meant the Larry spent the first few weeks of his life in Mark’s loungeroom as he explained, “We put a sky kennel in our lounge for him and he quickly settled into a routine. When he’d had his milk and a little walk-about, he’d just take himself back off to bed.”
Turns out that Larry isn’t the best house mate though. “It was a little tricky having Larry in the house. We had to keep an eye on him after each feed and get ready with a towel in case he started to urinate.”
He needed to give Larry 5 feeds a day of goat milk formula throughout the day and night.
Now Larry is back at Whipsnade Zoo and on the mend. Mark said, “After two weeks Larry was healthy enough to go back to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and be reunited with the group, although he’s still getting a lot of extra care. He’s doing really well now, growing nicely and putting on weight. He has started to eat some solids like grass and hay, and he can be properly weaned in a few months.”
Photo Credit: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo