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Giraffe Dies in Fall and Injures Zoo Boss

Published fredag 9 februari 2007 kl 11.00

Giraffes are notoriously difficult to anaesthetize, as a Swedish zoo boss recently learned: the leggy animal fell on top of him, leaving him with concussion and killing itself in the fall.

The two-year-old male giraffe, weighing 400 kilos, was to undergo routine testing for tuberculosis at the Kolmården Zoo 160 kilometers south of Stockholm. But things went terribly wrong.

Animal curator Mats Höggren told the local Norrköpings Tidningar newspaper that ”We have a portable wall that we pull up next to a solid wall so that the animal can fall gently to the side when it is anaesthetized. You also have to make sure that the neck doesn’t fall backwards.”

But instead the giraffe seized up and fell on the zoo’s operations manager, Lennart Sunden, who was standing beside it to hold its neck.

Sunden, who was rushed to a nearby hospital in an ambulance, needed seven stitches to his head.

Tests showed that the giraffe did not have tuberculosis.

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