A little giraffe, affectionately known as Eyelean at Monarto Zoo, has been returned to the herd after being rejected by her mother.
The calf was given the name after she was found with a swollen eye and disjointed neck , the result of being kicked by her mum when trying to feed.
Keepers took her under their wing and bottle feed the baby while teaching her to eat leaves from the back of the ute. Monarto Zoo Keeper Tess Stevens said successfully hand raising a giraffe calf and returning her to the herd was a huge milestone for the keeping team.
“We’re all absolutely thrilled with her progress – she’s healthy, strong and ready to mingle with the rest of our giraffe herd,” Tess said.
“It’s not very common to hand raise giraffe calves because it can be quite challenging and labour-intensive.
“Over the past three months, it’s been all hands on deck as we acted as her surrogate mum and we couldn’t be more excited she’s re-joining the herd.
Eyelean, who will also be given a traditional African name, is now back with her family in their enclosure alongside her mum Thula.