Topeka Zoo euthanizes giraffe due to ongoing leg issues

Decision made Sunday to euthanize her
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 1:30 PM CDT|Updated: May. 29, 2022 at 1:30 PM CDT
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TOPEKA (WIBW) -- The Topeka Zoo announced Sunday afternoon, that their 9-year old reticulated giraffe, Abi, had to be euthanized after a 3-year long battle with an injured front left fetlock, aggravated by a tumor.

Her difficulties were complicated by the progression of a form of cancer called neoplasia. After consulting with their team of experts, Zoo Director Brendan Wiley says the decision, although it was expected, was made Sunday to euthanize her.

A pathology report will give them details on what kind of tumor Abi suffered from, causing her fetlock injury which is very similar to an injury to a human ankle.

Her battle was not new to the Zoo veterinary team. Abi had been receiving care for her tumor and fetlock injury since 2019. Abi came here in 2015, from the Albuquerque, New Mexico Biological Park. During her stay in the Topeka Zoo, Abi gave birth to her baby, Konza, who’s now 4 and living at a Safari Refuge area in Winston, Oregon.

Giraffes face serious health problems when they’re not able to stand on all four feet with equal weight. Topekans were captivated by the story of Hope, the baby giraffe treated for a turned-in fetlock with new procedures to help straighten her foot and help Hope lead a normal life.

In late April, the zoo sent a news release to the media alluding of the problems Abi was having.

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