Zoo keepers were left holding the baby when a gazelle abandoned its newborn calf.

A Thomson’s gazelle had to be taken home and nursed back to health by a senior keeper at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo after it was abandoned by its mother.  

Larry, born on October 9, 2014, is one of only four Thomson’s gazelles in the UK, all of which live at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.  

After the gazelle was born, keepers noticed his mum was not returning to feed him and grew concerned for his survival.

Senior staff members at the zoo decided to step in and hand rear Larry, requiring team leader Mark Holden to bottle feed the calf five times a day and at regular intervals during the night.  

Mark said: “It’s always a last resort to separate a calf from the group, but little Larry was getting very weak and needed our help.  

“As soon as we got some milk into him he started to improve. We named him Lazarus – Larry for short – because for a moment we really didn’t think he was going to pull through.  

“We put a sky kennel in our lounge for him and he quickly settled into a routine. When he’d had his milk and a little walk about, he’d just take himself back off to bed.  

“It was a little tricky having Larry in the house. We had to keep an eye on him after each feed and get ready with a towel in case he started to urinate.  

“After two weeks Larry was healthy enough to go back to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and be reunited with the group, although he’s still getting a lot of extra care. He’s doing really well now, growing nicely and putting on weight. He has started to eat some solids like grass and hay, and he can be properly weaned in a few months.”

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