“The hope is that the calf will nurse and be raised by her mom, but some inexperienced moms aren't sure what to do with their offspring and humans have to step in to provide nourishment and warmth,” Gorsuch said in a news release. “If that happens this time, we'll be able to give the calf the best start possible, with help from her dad.”
Historically, large volume collections of blood and plasma are conducted with an anesthetized animal, but that is not the case for Faru.
“Thanks to our talented and patient operant conditioning team, Faru remains awake and voluntarily stands for blood draws, Gorsuch said. “Sometimes he cooperates for fifteen whole minutes. He seems to like all the attention and treats that he gets during the procedure.”
The plasma that is being collected has hemoglobin that will help boost the immune system of the calf, since it is from the same species.
The zoo has collaborated with the Hoxworth Blood Center to blank plasma since 1998.
"Just as there is no substitute for blood in humans, there is no substitute for blood in animals; therefore, we are pleased that we can use our expertise in helping to serve the animal kingdom," said Hoxworth Deputy Director Dr. Jose Cancelas.
Faru was brought to the Cincinnati Zoo from the Atlanta Zoo in 2015.