Tags: giraffe | euthanized | accident | injured

Giraffe Euthanized After 'Freak Accident' at Florida Zoo Causes Spinal Injury

Image: Giraffe Euthanized After 'Freak Accident' at Florida Zoo Causes Spinal Injury
(Facebook/Zoo Miami)

By    |   Thursday, 07 Jan 2016 02:55 PM

A giraffe has been euthanized after injuring himself in a "freak accident" at Zoo Miami this week.

On Facebook Tuesday, Zoo Miami announced that Wesley, a young giraffe born in May, had been euthanized after sustaining a spinal injury resulting from getting his head lodged between two posts.

The giraffe reportedly panicked when his head became stuck, the zoo announcement said.

"He was able to squeeze his head between two posts that were separating the exhibit from the holding area and when he lowered his neck, his head became lodged," the zoo said on Facebook. "Though the staff was able to dislodge him within a few minutes, it was too late to prevent significant injury to the giraffe. For several hours, the veterinary team tried a variety of treatments and supportive care. However, after a consistent and dramatic decline in his condition, the difficult decision was made to euthanize him."

Many people responded online to the zoo's announcement of Wesley's death:


"RIP Wesley. You made many people happy and introduced a fascination with Giraffes to children who might not have had that opportunity," one person commented on the zoo's FB page. "My thoughts are with their handlers, vet staff and Zoo staff involved with his care."

The Facebook page also said immediate modifications are being made to the exhibit area so that no other animals are injured. A necropsy scheduled for Thursday will provide a more definitive explanation for Wesley's injury.

Another young giraffe died after an accident in the Dallas zoo in July 2015, The Washington Post reported. Kipenzi, who was born in April, had numerous followers in her short life, many of whom watched her on live-stream video as she was born. Her death occurred after she hit an enclosure wall and broke three vertebrae in her neck.

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A giraffe has been euthanized after injuring himself in a "freak accident" at Zoo Miami this week.
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Thursday, 07 Jan 2016 02:55 PM
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