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Giraffe Dies Following Medical Procedure at Springfield Zoo

Dickerson Park Zoo

Springfield’s Dickerson Park Zoo is reporting the death of a juvenile giraffe. The zoo said Wednesday in a news release that 2-year-old Pammy J collapsed during a procedure in the morning to treat an overgrown hoof related to a previous injury and that attempts to revive her were unsuccessful.

Pammy J is the oldest of the zoo’s five juvenile giraffes.

According to the statement, a light dose of anesthesia, or standing sedation, was administered to the giraffe in what is described as a routine procedure similar to what is performed on horses.

“Anesthetizing a giraffe is often challenging because of the animal’s unique circulatory system and physical stature,” the release said. “The giraffe collapsed after receiving the light sedation and did not respond to anesthetic reversals or other attempts to revive her.”

An animal autopsy, or necropsy, was conducted by the zoo’s animal health staff. Officials say the blood and tissue samples will be sent off for analysis to determine any underlying medical conditions that contributed to the giraffe’s death.