Dallas Zoo Euthanizes Baby Giraffe After 'Catastrophic' Injury

The Dallas Zoo is mourning the loss of a baby giraffe following a "catastrophic" injury.

On Saturday, zookeepers noticed that Marekani, a 3-month-old giraffe born July 4, was walking with a limp sustained from an unknown injury.

After veterinarians noticed the health issue, Marekani and her mother, Chrystal, were given their own barn space to allow experts to easily treat and monitor the calf.

"The veterinary team performed a visual examination and did not see any external wounds, severe swelling, or deviation of the leg at that time," the Texas zoo explained in a Facebook post. "Pain medication was prescribed, along with a plan to allow her to rest overnight and re-evaluate her in the morning." 

Sunday morning, however, zookeepers said Marekani's condition worsened, citing swelling, a dislocated right elbow, and fractures to her radius and ulna — all of which would "result in long-term orthopedic deformities, lifelong pain, and arthritis."

"Due to their large stature and because giraffes bear the majority of their weight on the front limbs, it is nearly impossible to repair an injury like this in a way that is robust enough to stand up to the normal stress of movement and activity" the facility's statement read. "Sadly, injuries like this are catastrophic for giraffes, and there was no hope of recovery."

Due to the extent of Marekani's injuries, veterinarians decided to "humanely euthanize" the giraffe on Sunday. 

It is unclear how Marekani sustained her devastating injury, according to the Dallas Zoo.