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Florida zoo euthanizes 12-year-old giraffe due to hoof issues

Pongo had difficulty walking

Pongo, a giraffe born at the Denver Zoo, had lived at ZooMiami since 2009 before he was euthanized on Monday in Miami-Dade. (Photo courtesy of Ron Magill/ZooMiami)
Pongo, a giraffe born at the Denver Zoo, had lived at ZooMiami since 2009 before he was euthanized on Monday in Miami-Dade. (Photo courtesy of Ron Magill/ZooMiami)

MIAMI – A 12-year-old giraffe dealing with worsening hoof issues was euthanized, officials at Zoo Miami said.

The giraffe named Pongo had been dealing with issues that included fractures, pain and difficulty walking, the zoo said in a statement posted Monday on Facebook.

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The health team performed a series of treatments, hoping that Pongo would heal without the need to immobilize for a second time, the statement said. The treatments were not effective.

On Monday morning, the team immobilized Pongo to perform detailed X-rays, which revealed that the giraffe had fractured his foot within the past two weeks in a way that prevented successful treatment.

“The painful decision was made to euthanize him while he was still under anesthesia,” the statement said.