Dallas Zoo euthanizes baby giraffe after ‘catastrophic injury’

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A three-month-old giraffe named Marekani was euthanized at the Dallas Zoo after suffering a catastrophic injury. On Saturday, staff members saw the baby limping, however she did enter the barn with the rest of the herd and her mother Chrystal, as normal.

According to the zoo’s social media page, the baby and her mother were observed and no wounds or severe swelling was present on the calf, and it was decided to let them rest until the next day. On Sunday, the swelling on Marekani’s leg had worsened, and after an examination veterinarians determined the youngster had dislocated her right elbow and fractured both her radius and ulna.

“Due to their large stature and because giraffes bear the majority of their weight on the front limbs, it is nearly impossible to repair an injury like this in a way that is robust enough to stand up to the normal stress of movement and activity. Marekani had also fractured through her growth plate, meaning that the bone would not grow correctly and would result in long-term orthopedic deformities, lifelong pain, and arthritis. Sadly, injuries like this are catastrophic for giraffes, and there was no hope of recovery. Given this prognosis, the team made the incredibly difficult decision to humanely euthanize Marekani on Sunday, October 3.

Dallas Zoo

It is not known how the calf harmed herself, however the zoo will be evaluating everywhere the giraffe went and hope to find the cause of the accident.

“Although she was only with us for a short time, Marekani captured the hearts of Zoo staff, guests and the public alike. She will be dearly missed.”

Dallas Zoo

The calf was born at the zoo on July 4 and was Chrystal’s third calf.

Rest in peace little one.

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