The newest member of Southwick Zoo is breaking records. “Dolly,” the baby giraffe, is the most adorable and hefty female ever created at the Central Massachusetts Zoo, weighing 150 pounds and measuring 6 feet tall when born.
“God, I can’t believe she had a 6-foot tall female.” Betsey Brewer, the owner of Southwick Zoo, said. “We’ve never had a female born here that was so big.”
In a word, when Dolly’s mother, Molly, was born, she was only 5 feet tall, weighing 80 pounds.
“That’s a lot of babies. Six feet of the baby.” Brewer said. “She’s grown a lot in the last three weeks, and she’s about 6 feet, 4 inches tall now.”
Dolly was born on July 21. The birth went great, but there was one problem. Molly can’t make any milk.
“If she stayed with her mother, she’d be in big trouble,” Brewer explained.
So the zookeepers hand-fed Dolly with large bottles of milk three times a day.
“What we’re really doing is getting her used to the bottle, showing her the bottle,” Brewer said. “She actually recognized the bottle, so she approached it.”
Dolly is currently in a barn near her mother. She still has a lot to learn before she can return to Molly and exhibit.
“What we want to make sure is that she’s attached to that bottle well enough that when we show it to her in the exhibition, she’ll come to get it,” she said. “We want her to thrive and grow well.”
Zoo staff said Dolly likes to see things and has an eye for anything that shines.
“She’s very curious. She always looks at everything you have on yourself, whether it’s your necklace or your watch, your keys,” Brewer explained. “She wanted to come to see and taste everything.”
Zoo visitors can expect to see Dolly in the giraffe exhibit at some point before Labor Day.