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Zoo ‘heartbroken’ after being forced to euthanize 15-year-old giraffe
Featured Image Credit: Facebook/CBS

Zoo ‘heartbroken’ after being forced to euthanize 15-year-old giraffe

Despite only being 15 years old, the zoo had no other option but to put Ferrell down

A zoo has released a statement after having to put down a 15-year-old giraffe.

On New Year's Eve (31 December), Dallas Zoo was forced to make a heartbreaking decision to put down one of their beloved giraffes, Ferrell , who was only 15 years old.

According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, both bulls (male) and cow (female) giraffe can live to 'about 25 years in the wild and even longer in captivity'.

Despite Ferrell only being 15 years old, Dallas Zoo took to its Facebook page to announce 'with a heavy heart' Ferrell had passed away.

The zoo explained the giraffe had an 'unexpected fall in the barn' on 29 December and sustained an 'injury to his jaw'.

Ferrell was one of the zoo's six giraffes.
Dallas Zoo

The statement continues: "Our animal care and veterinary teams quickly assessed his condition and determined the injury required a surgical consult.

"During the procedure, the team discovered he had dislocated his jaw in such a way that surgery could not repair it. Jaw dislocations, even in smaller animals, are difficult to treat, but the size and anatomy of a giraffe hindered any type of reasonable repair."

The zoo explains the type of injury the giraffe sustained would lead to him not being able to use his jaw and tongue properly and could even see part or all of his tongue needing amputation in the future.

Dallas Zoo said: "Given this prognosis, and the impact on Ferrell’s quality of life, the team made the incredibly difficult decision to humanely euthanize Ferrell on Sunday, December 31."

Ferrell was euthanized on New Year's Eve.
Facebook/ Dallas Zoo

The zoo added it isn't the first time Ferrell had injured his jaw either, another incident occurring 13 years ago which left his tongue with 'issues'.

"Despite being able to use it, he lacked the ability to hold his tongue in his mouth," the zoo continued. "The new injury further damaged his tongue, which would have severely limited his ability to continue to use his tongue, making it nearly impossible for him to eat."

Dallas Zoo says its team have been left 'completely heartbroken' by the 'sudden loss' of Ferrell.

The statement concludes: "We kindly ask that you keep our staff in your thoughts as we navigate through this challenging time. Ferrell will be dearly missed by all who knew him."

Ferrell leaves behind five other reticulated giraffes native to the Horn of Africa, including Tebogo, Katie, Chrystal, Five and one-year-old Kendi.

Rest in peace, Ferrell.

Topics: US News, Animals, Facebook, Social Media, Health