This past June the dedicated staff at Brights Zoo was so excited to welcome the birth of *ALF, a male giraffe calf. So as to not disturb her labor, the entire staff monitored the birth through closed circuit TV and noticed immediately that there was a need for intervention. The poor infant was born without a suckle reflex and was unable to nurse, so we contacted Dr. Simpkins and Dr. Monin from Mountain Empire Large Animal. They were able to help us assess that there was an urgent need to tube feed the baby in order to provide colostrum to fight infection, critical in the first twelve to twenty-four hours of birth.
With all hands on deck, the first six days of ALF’s life were so crucial. Then finally, on the sixth night, a weakened ALF began sucking on Maggie’s chin, and she gently slid the bottle into his mouth. We watched with fingers crossed as he began to successfully drink the bottle! There were no dry eyes to be found. After that, for six weeks the baby giraffe would take a bottle only from Maggie; which meant she had to be at the zoo for every feeding, three a day, morning, noon and night.
ALF was introduced to the public on Facebook, and he quickly began to attract a following. Maggie started posting “ALF Alerts” with photos and videos, and followers couldn’t get enough. ALF seemed to respond to the camera, and each time he was filmed he performed as if he knew his admiring audience was watching.
After a while, ALF was moved from his nursery into his temporary Bachelor Pad where his adoring fans were able to observe his bottle feeding and hear the the ALF Talk presented by Maggie and Miss Connie. Our star certainly does love attention.
Brights Zoo is excited that ALF is going to remain with us, and we are planning to break ground on his new barn any day now. The only glitch is cost. We receive no public funding and rely totally on entrance fees as well as contributions. The expenses for the new barn, plus providing ALF with a girlfriend will be enormous. Thankfully, with heart-warming encouragement from ALF’s fans, our efforts to raise the funds we need are underway.
Guests are encouraged to donate via PayPal by clicking on the donate button found below. Some of our wonderful guests and supporters have been dropping by the gift shop and just handing us checks and cash, all of which are so welcome, as well as any mail-in donations. Checks need to indicate ALF on the memo line.
Our mailing address is:
3425 Hwy. 11 East
Limestone, TN 37681.
The goal is to raise $150,000 by the end of the year in order to be able to keep our boy and raise him right. With your help, we can accomplish this.
*While ALF’s name came from the 80’sTV series about an Alien Life Form (ALF) who comes from the planet Melmac and crash-lands on Earth, our ALF comes from an African Life Form whose father’s name is Melmac.
Please be aware of the fake sites that are looking to profit from ALF and other popular animals. For example, http://uspotus(dot)com is trying to sell ALF merchandise. They have copied our images and posts, so if is not a link coming directly from our Facebook or website, then please do not support these fraudulent sites.
You can also support us by purchasing ALF merchandise.
A portion of the proceeds from ALF Merchandise will go towards ALF's Barn Fund.
To order any of these items call 423-257-1927 between 10am and 5pm (EST) and our Gift Shop staff will take care of you.
Habitat: Tropical forests, savannas, grasslands
Weight: 40-85 lbs
Average Lifespan: 26 years (captive)
Gestation Period: 6 months
Number of Young: 1
Conservation Status: Vulnerable
- Largest living anteater
- The long nose is a bone tube formed by the fusion of the upper and lower jaw
- Their long, sticky tongue can measure up to 20 inches
- Long hair and rubbery skin protect them from ant and termite bites
- Almost blind, but have a very keen sense of smell
- Rips open anthills and termite mounds with their powerful claws
- Drinks in their prey by creating a vacuum in their throat, sucking the insects in, aided by their long sticky tongues
- Carry their young on their back, aligned with the white stripe for camouflage
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