Zim giraffe doing well after impaling herself on branch

2016-03-08 18:56
(Cathy Burkey, AP)

(Cathy Burkey, AP)

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WATCH: Giraffe recovers from anaesthetic after impaling herself on branch

2016-03-08 16:57

Vets in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare say they're happy with the progress of a female giraffe who had to be treated after impaling herself on a tree branch. Watch.WATCH

Harare - Vets in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare say they're happy with the progress of a female giraffe who had to be treated after impaling herself on a tree branch.

Dr Keith Dutlow of the AWARE Trust told News24 on Tuesday, "She's eating nicely, pooing well. For now she's doing really well".

The trust was called out to the Lion and Cheetah Park just outside Harare on Friday to attend to the giraffe who'd been seen with a piece of flesh hanging down just below her chest.

The giraffe was darted. When the vets were able to examine the wound they realised they were dealing with an abdominal omentum poking out of her tummy. An omentum - which means apron in Latin - is the thin membrane that covers the intestines.

"She had obviously impaled herself on a sharp tree branch and it had gone all the way into her abdomen," the group said on its Facebook page.

The wound was cleaned and long-lasting antibiotics administered.

Dutlow told News24 that anaesthetising a giraffe can often be a nail-biting experience.

"Their blood pressure is really high. They've got to keep the blood going to the tops of their heads. So when they're down, you tend to have problems," he said.

A darted giraffe "can even stop breathing," he added.

Also, these tall gangly animals can injure themselves when they fall. "They can get whiplash," Dutlow said.

But this giraffe - who has a calf - did well during the procedure.

This kind of injury carries with it the risk of peritonitis, a sometimes fatal inflammation of the lining of the abdomen. The vets can't be sure she is totally out of the woods for another few days.

"It'll be another three days before we know" that she's definitely going to be alright, the vet said.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  animals

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