Month old Speke's gazelle recovering at the Oregon Zoo - KPTV - FOX 12

Month old Speke's gazelle recovering at the Oregon Zoo

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Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo. Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A baby gazelle that almost did not make it through its first day of life is a month old today, and is on the road to recovery at the Oregon Zoo.

Pansy, a 9-year-old Speke’s gazelle in the zoo’s Africa Savanna area gave birth to Juliet on November 18. Speke’s gazelles are endangered, and each birth is important toward ensuring the species long-term survival.

Zoo staff became concerned when keepers went to check on Pansy the next morning, and Juliet felt cold to the touch.

Keepers also noticed Pansy displaying unusually aggressive behavior.

Juliet was quickly transferred to the intensive care unit of the zoo’s medical center.

"The rest of the day involved some heroic efforts on the part of our vet staff," said zoo curator Amy Cutting. "It was touch and go for 36 hours or so while vet staff struggled to maintain her temperature and hydration."

Once the calf had stabilized somewhat, zoo staff began regular bottle feedings.

By December 11, Juliet was able to move out of the vet center, and join Pansy and the other gazelles.

"With gazelles, it's not uncommon for first-time moms to struggle," said Laura Weiner, senior keeper in the zoo's Africa section. "The calf has had some trouble figuring out how to nurse, but otherwise, she's doing well. We've begun reintroducing her to her mom. We want her to live a normal gazelle life, and not be too bonded to humans."

Zoo officials said if all continues to go well, visitors should be able to see Juliet in the spring once the weather is a bit warmer.

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