Giraffes spend the majority of their lives on their feet so their hooves must remain in great shape. Our male giraffe, Congo, was born with a poorly formed right front hoof which has caused him to abnormally shift his weight (all 2,300 pounds of it) to his other feet. For years, the Zoo’s veterinary and giraffe care teams have worked hard caring for Congo’s hooves while he was awake and willing. However, his ability to walk without discomfort continued to deteriorate. It was time for more aggressive care.
Putting a 16-year-old giraffe under anesthesia is difficult and risky. Their bodies are not built to lay on their sides for long periods of time. Putting Congo asleep and correcting his hooves was going to take a lot of organization and skilled help. The Zoo asked two experts, Dr. Sam Rivera from Zoo Atlanta and Steve Foxworth from the Zoo Hoofstock Trim Program, to travel to Nashville and lead this daunting procedure. Watch the process in the video below.
Special thanks to our friends at Tempur-Pedic Flagship Store Green Hills for donating materials for this procedure.
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