Niabi Zoo in western Illinois euthanizes young giraffe

COAL VALLEY, Ill. (AP) — The Niabi Zoo in western Illinois has euthanized a giraffe calf that was born in February.

The (Moline) Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/1gnXnoi ) that the calf was injured shortly after it was born when his mother stepped on his leg and damaged a tendon. Zoo director Marc Heinzman says the giraffe, named Genesis, struggled to heal.

Heinzman says the situation became worse because Genesis was growing several inches per week recently. He says that meant more weight on the injury. Heinzman says the “difficult decision” was made for the sake of the giraffe’s welfare.

Heinzman says surgery wasn’t an option because the giraffe’s quick growth rate.

The giraffe’s body has been sent to the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine for an animal autopsy. The zoo is in Coal Valley.

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Information from: The Dispatch, http://www.qconline.com

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