Msituni, a three month old giraffe born at San Diego Zoo Safari Park, was suffering from hyperextension of the carpus, resulting in unnatural bending of the legs, as well as severe pain. However, the giraffe was saved thanks to an external brace that made it possible to correct the serious defect in the front legs it had since birth.
A team of prosthetic experts from the Hanger Clinic, a company that normally works with humans, has been available to help veterinarians and scientists accomplish this miracle. After collecting all the necessary data, the orthopedists developed special carbon graphite braces that fixed the joints allowing for natural posture and growth of the limbs.
Scientists also painted the braces with a "giraffe pattern" texture to make them appear more natural. Dr Ara Mirzaian, orthopedist at Hanger Clinic, explaiend: "I feel an incredible sense of accomplishment. I had never worked with wildlife before - it's one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and you just have to savor the moment." Pic by Zoo Safari Park di San Diego and Hanger Clinic
Several highlihts of the San Diego Zoo Safari
The San Diego Zoo is one of the largest and most famous zoos in the world and currently houses around 4,000 animals of more than 800 different species, occupying an area of 430,000 square kilometers.
Based on the real rainforest of Ituri, north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this area was opened in 1999 and is home to several animals of the tropical rainforest of Central Africa. Six gorillas are housed in the zoo in an area of 740 m2 and the hippo trail, the Hippo Trail, allows you to admire these animals underwater.
The San Diego Zoo is one of four zoos in the United States to have giant pandas and is the most successful zoo in terms of breeding these animals.
The first two giant panda cubs born in the US and survived to adulthood, Hua Mei (female, born to Bai Yun and Shi Shi) and Mei Sheng (male, born to Bai Yun and Gao Gao), were born in zoo in 1999 and 2003 respectively.
Since then, four more cubs have been born to Bai Yun and Gao Gao through natural conception: Su Lin (female), Zhen Zhen (female), Yun Zi (male) and Xiao Liwu (male). Cape Fynbos is home to the Cape penguins, a common penguin in South Africa and on some islands in Namibia.
This habitat provides the penguins with a tank of about 760,000 liters of water with a depth of over 3 m. A pebble beach and a nesting area were also built. A group of 20 penguins were moved into the habitat on June 22, 2017 in preparation for the opening.
The zoo has joined a breeding program for lemurs from Madagascar to ensure the healthy growth of these endangered species. Some of these lemurs are exhibited together, even if in nature they do not live in the same area; their main enemy is also preserved in this habitat - the pit.
The San Diego Zoo is the second zoo in North America to house the gelada baboon, after the Bronx Zoo. The alpha male Juma leads a group of only male members Mahbub, Saburi, Abasi, Diwani and Valentino. Arriving at the zoo on 7 September 2016 from the Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart in Germany, where they lived with 44 other geladas, they will be introduced to female specimens in the future.