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Follow-up procedure planned for Abu

The Animal Care and Veterinary Teams at Zoo Atlanta will soon undertake a follow-up veterinary procedure for Abu the giraffe.

Abu, who at almost 16 is the oldest member of the Zoo’s giraffe herd and is considered geriatric, experiences arthritis. In May 2021, Zoo Atlanta announced that Abu had undergone a significant procedure in which he was fitted with two special therapeutic shoes to help stabilize his front feet and slow down the progression of the arthritis. At that time, he received stem cell therapy, which is an innovative tool that has proven helpful in treating osteoarthritis in a variety of species.

The therapeutic shoes, which have also been used with horses and cows, are not meant to be worn for long periods, so are intended to be removed or replaced on a relatively regular basis. With the help of Zoo Hoofstock Trim Program (ZHTP), an external professional team specializing in the hoof care of giraffes, the teams will be removing the shoes and will again be administering stem cell therapy using stem cells collected from Abu’s own blood. Because general anesthesia is required for this procedure, there is always a risk for complications. Given their unusual anatomy and physiology, this is especially the case when working with giraffes. These treatments are necessary steps, however, in working to aid in Abu’s well-being and comfort, which is always the Zoo Atlanta team’s foremost priority.

Updates will be provided as soon as Abu’s condition is known.

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