Difficulties in raising exotic animals

Difficulties In Raising Exotic Animals

SCOTT COUNTY, Va. - Our newsroom was both shocked and saddened to learn that the newly born giraffe at Bright's Zoo had died.

But in reality, 50 percent of baby giraffes in the wild don't make it. They have a better chance in captivity, but raising exotic animals of any kind is difficult.

There have been lots of new arrivals this year at the Creation Kingdom Zoo. Even in a zoo setting, sometimes things go wrong. 

Such is the case of the new arrival at the Bright's Zoo. A little giraffe that we all fell in love with sadly passed away, but he had a better chance at the zoo than in the wild. "It's just a reality that we often don't see in a captive environment. In a captive environment we're used to seeing things alive and healthy, and for the most part they are. But sometimes things may happen that are beyond our control," zoo director Marc Bradley said.

Be reminded that most of these animals are living outside their native land, and when it's time to breed and give birth is sometimes an uncontrollable factor. So in most cases it's best to let nature take its course. "We let nature take its course as much as possible.  We have cameras inside the dens, inside the indoor houses, inside the stalls where birthing stalls are so that we can monitor the progress," he said.

Much of what takes place is between mother and baby. Sometimes they do need some help, but for the most part all that a zoo can do is provide a good home for the animals but if help is needed zoos step in. "Part of the beauty of a captive program is instead of babies not nursing we can pull the baby in captivity, give cholestern, give it what it need and move on from there.  In the wild it wouldn't have such a great chance," Bradley said.

Efforts are being made to find out what happened with the baby giraffe but it was given the best chance of survival, much better that in a real-world setting.

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