Falling giraffe injures Swedish zoo boss

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, media reported on Thursday.

The two-year-old male giraffe, named Måns and weighing 400 kilos, was to undergo routine testing for tuberculosis at the Kolmården Zoo 160 kilometers south of Stockholm.

But things went terribly wrong.

“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,” animal curator Mats Höggren told the local Norrköpings Tidningar newspaper.

But instead the giraffe seized up and fell on the zoo’s operations manager, Lennart Sundén, who was standing beside it to hold its neck. Sundén, who was rushed to a nearby hospital in an ambulance, needed seven stitches to his head.

“I was a little groggy and got a slight concussion,” he told Swedish Radio.

Måns was probably killed by the fall, Höggren said.

Tests showed that the giraffe did not have tuberculosis.