Tisa the giraffe goes under for hoof surgery

  • 18/02/2017
Tisa is restrained by Wellington Zoo staff (Wellington Zoo / Facebook)
Tisa is restrained by Wellington Zoo staff (Wellington Zoo / Facebook)

A team of 29 people were involved in a health check under general anaesthetic for Tisa, the Wellington Zoo's 26-year-old female giraffe.

Tisa had been showing signs of discomfort in her left hind foot.

Tisa is restrained by Wellington Zoo staff (Wellington Zoo / Facebook)

The procedure was performed on Thursday in an hour by veterinarians, animal care staff and specialists from around the country.

Giraffes are difficult to anaesthetise due to their large size and physiology, says Dr Baukje Lenting, the zoo's senior veterinarian.

Wellington Zoo staff inspect Tisa before the operation (Wellington Zoo / Facebook)
Wellington Zoo staff inspect Tisa before the operation (Wellington Zoo / Facebook)

"They may have a risk of injury should they fall in certain ways during the induction of anaesthesia," Dr Lenting says.

Tisa weighs about a tonne and her large head needed to be supported throughout the procedure.

Wellington Zoo staff work on Tisa's hooves (Wellington Zoo / Facebook)
Wellington Zoo staff work on Tisa's hooves (Wellington Zoo / Facebook)

Her hooves were trimmed and reshaped, which will hopefully help alleviate the swelling around her feet and make her more comfortable.

During Thursday's procedure, X-rays showed evidence of mild arthritis and signs of an old injury that is healing.

NZN

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