WATCH: 2,000-pound giraffe undergoes risky procedure and walks tall again after injuring foot

September 27, 2020

Pongo the giraffe is standing upright again after suffering a foot fracture.

Measuring 16 feet tall and weighing nearly 2,000-pounds, Pongo underwent a risky procedure that reshaped his injured foot and was then fitted with corrective shoes, according to Patch.

"Basically, what we did was we had a special farrier — a guy who basically is a horseshoer but for exotic animals — restructure his foot, reshape his foot, and then build a special rubber shoe, kind of like giraffe orthotics, that would then adhere to his foot, and basically change his gait and isolate and stabilize the fracture, because you can't put a cast on a giraffe,” Ron Magill of ZooMiami told the outlet.

Video footage from the procedure showed the use of heavy artillery and required the 11-year-old giraffe to be put under anesthesia.

"It's the first time we have ever done it, and it is very rarely done,"Magill added. "It is not uncommon that the giraffe never survives once you anesthetize it. That's why it's a last-ditch effort."

The procedure required the assistance of two dozen veterinarians, technicians, zookeepers to make sure everything went smoothly.

Luckily, Pongo took well to the treatment and was standing tall after 40 minutes.

"It's a great feel-good story of something that had a very high potential of going very wrong and fortunately everything went right," Magill continued. "It was a textbook procedure."

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