HOUSTON – The Houston Zoo’s baby giraffe appears to be on the road to recovery from a life-threatening bone infection.
Yao, a Masai giraffe born in February, has been getting aggressive therapy and lots of tender loving care from the Zoo’s veterinary team and it's paying off.
Yao gets antibiotics, pain medication and physical therapy twice a day.
A keeper walks him around an enclosed open air area between the giraffe barn and the exhibit yard.
Hoofed Stock Supervisor John Register says Yao is showing steady improvement walking and standing and he never balks at his physical therapy routines with the keepers.
Yao is in one of the barn ‘bedrooms’ and his mother, Neema, is in the bedroom next door. She can peek over the wall to keep an eye on her baby during his treatments. Sometimes, she’ll lick his face.
"She’s a great mom and he’s proving to be a wonderful patient. He tolerates the procedures so well," said Houston Zoo spokesman Brian Hill.
After each procedure, the keepers put Yao with his mom so he can nurse. If the weather’s nice they have time out in the paddock together.
Yao is eating well and gaining weight. He’s up to 198 pound and is eating solid foods.