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Wednesday May 22, 2024

Dallas zoo mourns the loss of beloved giraffe, ferrell



Heartbreaking decision to euthanize after unexpected fall and jaw injury

On New Year’s Eve, Dallas Zoo faced a tragic situation, announcing the euthanization of Ferrell, a 15-year-old giraffe, due to an unexpected fall in the barn that resulted in a severe jaw injury. Giraffes typically live to around 25 years in the wild, making Ferrell’s passing untimely and sorrowful for the zoo’s staff.

According to the zoo’s statement on Facebook, Ferrell’s fall occurred on December 29, causing an injury to his jaw. Despite immediate assessment and the intention for surgical intervention, the veterinary team discovered that Ferrell had dislocated his jaw in a way that was irreparable through surgery. The complex anatomy and size of a giraffe posed significant challenges in treating such an injury.

The nature of Ferrell’s jaw dislocation meant that he would be unable to use his jaw and tongue properly, potentially requiring amputation of part or all of his tongue in the future. Considering the prognosis and the impact on Ferrell’s quality of life, the zoo made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize him on December 31.

The statement revealed that this wasn’t the first time Ferrell had experienced a jaw injury, with a previous incident occurring 13 years ago, resulting in ongoing issues with his tongue. The recent injury exacerbated these problems, severely limiting his ability to eat and making the decision for euthanasia even more poignant.

Expressing their grief, the zoo’s team mentioned being “completely heartbroken” by the sudden loss of Ferrell. The statement concluded by asking for thoughts and support for the staff during this challenging time.

Ferrell leaves behind five other reticulated giraffes at the zoo: Tebogo, Katie, Chrystal, Five, and one-year-old Kendi.


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