A giraffe gave birth to a calf at San Diego Zoo Safari Park with a front limb bending the wrong way. To construct a brace, the zoo hired Ara Mirzaian, who has fitted braces for everyone from Paralympians to children with scoliosis. Msituni the baby giraffe born on February 1 was the first patient that wasn’t human.
Staff at the safari park were concerned that the calf could die if they didn’t immediately correct the condition. Without proper leg mobility, it can prevent her from nursing and walking around the habitat. Having no experience in fitting a giraffe proved challenging as she was already 178-centimetres and was growing each day.
Mirzaian was contacted when the zoo reached out to experts in orthotics at the Hanger clinic. Mirzaian said “It was pretty surreal when I first heard about it, … Of course, all I did was go online and study giraffes for like 24/7 until we got out here.”
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