A giraffe was euthanized Sunday at the Dallas Zoo after falling, leaving it with a disabled and inoperable jaw.
Ferrell, 15, fell into his stable on Friday. After surgery, veterinarians and a team of caretakers discovered that the animal had dislocated its jaw in a way that could not be repaired with surgery, the zoo announced on its Facebook page.
“A dislocated jaw is difficult to treat, even in small animals, but the giraffe’s size and anatomy preclude reasonable repair,” the post read.
The team said that the injury would have significantly limited the giraffe's use of its jaw and tongue, as surgery would likely require the amputation of part or all of the tongue in the future.
“Given the diagnosis and the impact on Ferrell’s quality of life, the team had to make the very difficult decision to euthanize Ferrell on Sunday, December 31,” she also wrote.
The zoo added that the animal had previously suffered a jaw injury 13 years ago, due to a problem with its tongue. Ferrell could use it, but he couldn't keep it in his mouth. The zoo added that after his second injury, it was almost impossible to feed him.
“This sudden loss has completely broken our hearts. We ask that you consider the staff during this difficult time. Ferrell will be deeply missed by all who knew him,” the post concluded.
The post received more than 280 supportive comments and nearly 210 shares on Facebook.