Surgery could fix giraffe's terminal birth defect

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Associated Press

Posted on April 7, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 7 at 10:35 AM

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A 6-month-old female giraffe at Oklahoma City Zoo is scheduled to have surgery to correct a terminal birth defect that affects her ability to eat.

Veterinarians say Kyah's esophagus is restricted and she cannot digest most solid foods. The zoo's associate veterinarian, Dr. Gretchen Cole, says the giraffe has a 50 percent chance of survival with the surgery, but no chance without.

Cole says she believes Kyah will be the first giraffe to undergo a procedure of this nature.

Kyah's surgery is slated for Tuesday at Oklahoma State University's Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.

Zoo officials hope the giraffe will be returned to her mother at the zoo soon after the surgery, and say she could be back on her feet within two weeks.

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