A baby Masai giraffe born weeks ago at the Senaca Park Zoo in Rochester, New York, has been euthanized. On Friday, the zoo released information about the difficult decision to humanely euthanize the calf, who was born on July 12 with a congenital abnormality of his front fetlock joint.
Dr. Chris McKinney, Zoo Veterinarian explained:
“The calf was showing additional signs of degradation. He was increasingly lethargic, nursing less, and showing signs of stress, which indicate decline in the quality of life. While some fetlock issues can heal, the calf’s limb abnormality was especially pronounced.”
Because giraffes bear most of their weight on their front legs, recovering from joint abnormalities is difficult.
Seneca Park Zoo Director Steve Lacy said that the staff is mourning the calf’s death:
“Our animal health and animal care staff are heartbroken. Our staff worked around-the-clock doing everything we possibly could to ensure viability. The level of care the calf received was nothing short of exemplary. I would like to also thank our colleagues at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Bronx Zoo, and San Diego Zoo, as well as Dr. Noha Abou-Madi from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, for their expert guidance and invaluable input to the care of the calf.”