New baby at the Brevard Zoo
Brevard Zoo welcomed a female klipspringer calf on Father’s Day, June 15, to first-time mom, Vera and first-time dad, Marley. The calf weighs in at two pounds and was discovered by zoo keepers during their first morning check on Monday. It will be a few weeks before the trio will be out on exhibit, but everyone is doing well.
Zoo staff are extremely excited at this klipspringer birth given the story behind mom Vera. The one-and-a-half year old dam came to Brevard Zoo in May 2013 with an injury to one of her back legs. After a thorough examination by vet staff, it was confirmed she needed extensive, specialized treatment and Vera was taken to Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Brevard (AECC) in Melbourne. At the clinic, Dr. Jeff Christiansen performed a lengthy surgery, placing a metal rod and plate in the leg.
Initially the leg appeared to be healing, but a follow up exam showed an infection. The klipspringer was taken to the University of Florida (UF) College of Veterinary Medicine for surgical revision of the leg, and during the procedure it was determined that amputation was best. Vera did well following both surgeries, due in part to her young age as well as the skills of the staff at the AECC and UF.
However, there was concern that she may not be able to get around the yard well and may not be accepted by Marley since she was at such a disadvantage with only three legs. Animals in the wild as well as in zoos tend to shy away from any animal that may draw the attention of a predator. But, Marley accepted her right away and Vera showed she was able to do everything that a normal klipspringer could do, such as run around the yard and hop up on the rocks. Now a new mom, Vera is one exceptional klipspringer.