Dallas Zoo Giraffe Calf Gets Euthanized Upon Irreparable Leg Injury

Dallas Zoo Giraffe_Lynda M. González DMN
Image by Lynda M. González / Dallas Morning News

A giraffe calf from Dallas Zoo was euthanized last weekend after she sustained an irreparable injury. Marekani was born at the Dallas Zoo three months ago, on July 4. The zoo displayed her publicly on July 8.

Caretakers found multiple fractures in Marekani’s legs, according to the zoo’s post on Facebook. While they noticed her walking with a limp, she exhibited normal behavior as she still went into the herd’s ban on her own. Per the zoo, a private area was given to her and her mother so that caretakers could watch the injured calf; however, no wounds were discovered. The observation did not uncover any severe swelling or other indicators that Marekani’s leg was seriously injured.

Caretakers gave Marekani pain medications and allowed her to rest overnight, the zoo said. The following day they noticed that her limping and swelling worsened, so they sedated her to take a closer look. The closer examination showed that Marekani had dislocated her right elbow. She had also had a fractured radius, ulna, and growth plate. Officials decided to have her euthanized as they believed that an injury like that was almost impossible to heal and would cause her lifelong pain and deformities.

“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,” said the zoo.

Officials at the Dallas Zoo, who said that they do not know how Marekani was injured, said they would make efforts to find out and prevent future incidents.

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