A three-month-old giraffe at the San Diego Zoo received a splint to correct limb abnormalities.
The female calf, named Msituni, was fitted with a custom brace on her front leg to correct hyperextension of the carpi – bones equivalent to those in the human wrist – which prevented her from standing and walking.
The zoo worked with Hanger Clinic of San Diego, which typically makes orthotics and prosthetics for humans, to make a custom brace for Msituni.
“Hyperextension, the joint that was going the wrong way, was his big concern,” said Matt Kinney, senior veterinarian at San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
“So initially we stabilized that joint with casts while we had time to buy braces, just ready-made braces. We applied them the next day and realized they didn’t weren’t strong enough and that they needed to step up a gear.”
The custom splint is made of molded carbon graphite decorated with a giraffe design to allow Msituni to blend in with his surroundings.
The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance said in a statement that Msituni’s chances of survival would have been very low without the treatment.
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