Seneca Park Zoo’s male Masai giraffe calf suffers from leg issue and umbilical hernia
Animal care staff closely monitors and treats infant as these first few weeks are key to success of the birth
Seneca Park Zoo and Monroe County executive Adam Bello have publicized that a male Masai giraffe calf born earlier this week is receiving veterinary care for a leg tendon issue. With the assistance of animal care staff, zoo veterinarian Chris McKinney, DVM, put a splint on the calf’s leg because of laxity in the tendons of his left front fetlock, resulting in the joint bending outward and forward.
“The laxity is something that he was born with, and is also seen in horses and cattle,” shared McKinney, in an organizational release.1 “We placed a splint on the leg, which is kept in place with a bandage and keeps the joint in the proper position to provide support while he gains more strength in the leg.”
McKinney added that the joint should build strength over the next few days so the splint can be removed. Additionally, the calf was found to have an umbilical hernia, which is a congenital abnormality that occurs when the muscle of the body wall doesn’t close completely where the umbilical cord enters the body.1
“This is not painful and at this time is causing him no harm but can worsen as he grows. Once he has had more time to nurse and bond with mom, we will plan to surgically close the hernia to ensure he continues to be healthy.”
Bello noted that aside from the leg tendon issue and hernia, the calf is otherwise healthy and has assimilated nicely with the rest of the giraffe herd.
“But, we do know that baby giraffes have high mortality rates and the first few days and weeks are critical to the success of the birth. Zoo staff will continue monitoring baby and mom 24/7 to watch out for any unforeseen challenges,” Bello concluded, in the release.
It’s another boy — Seneca Park Zoo’s second Masai giraffe calf is male — receiving veterinary care. News release. Seneca Park Zoo. July 13, 2022. Accessed July 15, 2022. https://senecaparkzoo.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/07.13.2022-Seneca-Park-Zoo-Update-On-Second-Giraffe-Calf.pdf