By Melissa Garcia
DENVER, Colo. (CBS4) – Animal lovers lined the edges of the giraffe exhibit Sunday at the Denver Zoo to get a glimpse of baby “Dobby.”
“Adorable,” commented a zoo visitor of the zoo’s newest and smallest giraffe. “So cute, so sweet,” said another.
Dobby, now 5-days old, was born severely underweight.
Standing 5-feet tall and weighing 73 pounds, Dobby needed special care by zoo staff. Most giraffes at birth weigh 150 pounds.
After a rough beginning, Dobby is now nursing on his own, thanks to the help of his adoring caretakers, like Amanda Faliano.
PHOTO GALLERY: Meet Denver Zoo’s ‘Dobby’
“It’s hard because I’m just as infatuated by him as pretty much everyone out there,” Faliano said.
Faliano said that zoo staff did not know that Dobby’s mom Kipele was pregnant until about a week before the birth. Kipele was on birth control when she and Dobby’s dad Dikembe conceived.
“For the females’ and for Dikembe’s safety, we opted to put them on birth control,” Faliano said. “Just like human birth control, it’s 99.9 percent effective. (Dobby) is .1 (percent) apparently.”
Dobby is the first giraffe born at the Denver Zoo since 2010, drawing excitement from zoo visitors like Clara.
“I like the baby giraffe,” Clara said, as she sat atop her dad’s shoulders at Dobby’s debut.
“She heard about the (giraffe) in New York,” explained Lindsay Eaves, Clara’s father. “So, seeing this one born is really cool.”
The Eaves were not the only animal admirers tuned in to the social media giraffe craze.
“Everybody was waiting for the one in New York to be born, and then this one popped out,” said LeAnn Chavez, a member of the Denver Zoo.
“A pleasant surprise,” her husband, Andrew, chimed in.
Faliano said that Dobby is getting stronger every day.
“He’s doing great right now. He’s gaining about three pounds a day. He’s up 10 pounds from when he was born, which is huge,” Faliano said. “It’s looking really, really, really good. So we’re very hopeful that he’ll make a full recovery and gain some weight and get giant just like his dad.”
Dobby is expected to grow to be 12 feet tall in his first two years alone. Thereafter, he could grow as tall as 17 feet.