Zoo's baby giraffe has broken leg

Published: May. 20, 2011 at 2:10 PM EDT|Updated: May. 20, 2011 at 3:42 PM EDT
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Zuri with her mom, Tessa (Source: Cincinnati Zoo)
Zuri with her mom, Tessa (Source: Cincinnati Zoo)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Zoo's seven-week-old baby giraffe, Zuri, suffered a broken leg Thursday while in her indoor stall at Giraffe Ridge.

Zoo officials say when the first keeper arrived early Thursday morning, he noted that Zuri was lying down as usual when he went in to feed.  When Zuri went to stand he noticed she was limping and immediately contacted the Zoo's veterinary staff.

"Obviously, everyone here at the Cincinnati Zoo is extremely concerned about Zuri," said Thane Maynard, Executive Director at the Cincinnati Zoo. "She has quickly stolen the heart of our entire community and we are working hard to ensure she has a long, healthy life here."

Zoo Director of Animal Health Dr. Mark Campbell contacted Dr. Thomas Beckman, an equine specialist, who has worked with the Cincinnati Zoo for the past 30 years, to help evaluate Zuri's condition and assist with a medical procedure.

During the two-hour procedure on Thursday, Zuri was anesthetized and an X-ray was taken of her rear right leg.  Both dad, "Kimba" and mom, "Tessa" were moved to the outdoor exhibit area during the procedure.  After vets determined that Zuri's leg was broken, her leg was placed in a cast.

"The procedure went well and we will continue to monitor the situation closely," said Dr. Campbell. "Keepers are observing Zuri around the clock. She is a young animal and we're guardedly optimistic that her bones should heal quickly."

Zuri is standing, walking, and continues to nurse. Giraffe Ridge is still open and guests can see Zuri and her mom inside.

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