CINCINNATI (WCMH) – An 18-year-old aardvark from the Cincinnati Zoo received a life-saving blood transfusion from its neighbor just up Interstate 71.

“Kiazi,” a 9-year-old aardvark at the Columbus Zoo provided a blood donation to help save “Ali,” an aardvark at the Cincinnati Zoo who had an infection stemming from a prior surgery.

Ali originally came to Columbus with a severe tooth infection and had her teeth surgically removed so as to not cause further damage to her jaw or nasal sinuses.

“Unfortunately, bloodwork at the time of her dental procedure showed recent nosebleeds related to the infection had caused her red blood cell level to become dangerously low and she needed a blood transfusion,” said Cincinnati Zoo associate veterinarian Jess Heinz. 

(Courtesy/Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden)

Hines also said that Ali was weak from her low blood levels, would not eat or move around.

The Columbus Zoo collected blood from Kiazi, and the Cincinnati Zoo veterinarians performed the transfusion. Ali reportedly was socializing and ready to eat, according to a release.

The Cincinnati Zoo said that while blood transfusions in aardvarks are not common, Ali was closely monitored for any signs of a negative reaction or rejection of the transfusion. None have been reported weeks after the procedure.

“Her red blood cell level is stable and slowly improving with the time bought with her transfusion from Columbus Zoo,” said Heinz.