MIAMI, Fla. (Jan. 7, 2016) – A young giraffe had to be euthanized following what officials at Zoo Miami call a “freak accident.”
The giraffe, Wesley, got his head stuck between two posts and panicked, causing a spinal injury that made it impossible for him to stand or maintain his balance.
The 7-month-old giraffe was born in May. He was euthanized on Tuesday after suffering the injury. Zoo officials said another giraffe was undergoing a procedure and Wesley was trying to watch what was going on, getting his head caught between two posts. Staff members were able to get him free, but the damage was already done.
Veterinary teams tried a variety of treatments, but the giraffe’s condition continued to deteriorate, and they made the difficult decision to put him down. Zoo officials said Wesley suffered a spinal cord injury.
The zoo said this was the first accident of its kind in its history. Staff members plan to make changes to the area where Wesley became stuck to prevent it from happening to another animal in the future.