An 8-week-old giraffe in a Colorado Springs zoo was put to sleep because of her dislocated hip, infected leg, and other health complications.
Experts at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital made the difficult decision to euthanize the giraffe, named Penny, believing that her condition will severely affect her quality of life, as reported by Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
"We are absolutely heartbroken, but we truly appreciate all of your support over this near two-month journey," the zoo management wrote in a Facebook post.
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The veterinarians found an abscess in Penny’s abdomen as well as an infection in three of her legs. These conditions also resulted in a dislocated hip.
The giraffe, born about eight weeks at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, was the 200th giraffe calf born at the facility.
"The outpouring of love, thoughts, prayers and kind words has been unwavering and overwhelming. While this is not the outcome we hoped for, we are confident that Penny's legacy will live on in the work we do to improve medical and husbandry care for the giraffe in Zoos around the world," the zoo management added.
Its post also stated that Penny's story, while heartbreaking, has helped educate people on the plight of giraffe in the wild.
The zoo is also set to send a team of veterinarians to Uganda to assist with giraffe conservation efforts. "Their contribution to this effort will be dedicated to Penny's memory," the management stated.
Founded in 1926, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a leader in conversation, captive breeding, and animal care, according to its website.
The zoo was founded by philanthropist Spencer Penrose to house his growing collection of exotic animals. He later deeded the zoo as a non-profit public trust to the people of Colorado Springs.
It aims to connect people with wildlife and wild places through experiences that inspire action.