A multidisciplinary team of at least 24 people managed to immobilize a giraffe weighing almost 2,000 pounds (907 kilograms) in Miami (USA) with two broken legs, to put on custom made rubber shoes and take X-rays, an operation that the Florida park described as “extreme challenge”.

The 11-year-old animal named I put, took some time suffering from a limp, So the veterinarians decided to carry out a complex procedure because, as they explained, it is difficult to anesthetize a giraffe.

With a height of 16 feet (4.87 meters), I put suffered from a severe limp that had “significantly restricted your mobility and it was making it difficult for him to carry out his daily activities, “the Zoo Miami said in a statement Tuesday.

The “reticulated” giraffe was immobilized last Saturday to subject it to a series of procedures “necessary to Improve your quality of life”, according to the zoo located in South Miami.

I put, which had experienced significant deterioration in recent weeks, was receiving medications that helped him control his discomfort.

The giraffe ‘Pongo’, after being immobilized at the Miami Zoo to heal two fractured legs.

For the immobilization work it was necessary “a highly coordinated effort” by a team of more than two dozen people drawn from various institutions, including veterinarians, zookeepers and blacksmiths.

Once lying on the ground and with her head up resting on a plank, several tasks were performed simultaneously, including tasks X-rays, hoof pruning, laser therapy, and the collection of blood and tissue samples.

They also placed I put on its hind legs a few custom rubber shoes, they had to be “modeled,” details the institution, the only subtropical zoo in the continental United States.

During the intervention, constant body and neck massage to stimulate blood flow.

X-rays revealed that Pongo had a recent fracture on the left rear leg, as well as an “older” one on the right front.

Technicians at the Miami Zoo examine one of the fractured legs of the giraffe'Pongo' after immobilizing the animal.
Technicians at the Miami Zoo examine one of the fractured legs of the giraffe ‘Pongo’ after immobilizing the animal.

The shoes they put on you are designed to immobilize and support the recently fractured leg, while helping to balance the opposite leg.

Due to the extraordinary anatomy and size of a giraffe, the biggest challenge was immobilizing I put safely and keep the animal under anesthesia while its vital signs were monitored, says the source.

Adult giraffes are generally one of the most difficult animals to anesthetize. “Death as a result of not being able to recover from anesthesia is a serious risk,” said the zoo, reopened to the public just over a week after closing on July 4 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A I put, who is already enjoying nature with his herd, he took almost 40 minutes stand up after the intervention, which brought “a great sense of relief to the whole team.”

The fracture, the statement adds, it will take several weeks to heal.