Dallas Zoo: Giraffe euthanized after jaw injury

A giraffe was euthanized at the Dallas Zoo on Sunday after it fell and crushed its jaw, leaving it paralyzed.

Ferrell, 15, fell into his stable on Friday. After the surgery, a team of veterinarians and keepers discovered the animal's jaw was disfigured beyond surgical repair, the zoo announced on its Facebook page.

“Treatment of jaw dislocations is difficult even in small animals, but the size and anatomy of the giraffe precludes reasonable repair,” the post states.

The injury would have severely limited the giraffe's use of its jaw and tongue, the team said, as surgery would have required amputation of part or all of the tongue in the future.

It also wrote that “Given the prognosis and impact on Ferrell's quality of life, the team had to make the incredibly difficult decision to humanely euthanize Ferrell on Sunday, December 31.”

The zoo said the animal suffered a jaw injury 13 years ago due to a problem with its tongue. Ferrell could use it, but couldn't keep it in his mouth. After his second injury, feeding would have been nearly impossible, the zoo added.

“This sudden loss has absolutely broken our hearts. We kindly ask you to think of the staff at this difficult time. Ferrell will be greatly missed by all who knew him,” the release concluded.

The post received more than 280 supportive comments and nearly 210 shares on Facebook.

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