Sweden becomes first Nordic country to X-ray living giraffe

Veterinarians and keepers at Kolmården wildlife park have X-rayed one of the zoo’s giraffes, becoming the first in Scandinavia to conduct the challenging examination.

Sweden becomes first Nordic country to X-ray living giraffe
Photo: Kolmården/TT

The examination was made possible by modifying the giraffe’s stables and installing new X-ray equipment, reports SVT Öst.

The giraffe, Garp, was trained for several months before undergoing the test, which consisted of an X-ray of its jaw.

Living wild animals such as giraffes are not usually capable of being still to the extent required for accurate X-ray images to be taken.

But there are several medical benefits to the test, as well as a reduction of risk associated with tranquilising a large beast such as a giraffe.

“Investigations and treatments that can be performed on conscious animals that cooperate with zookeepers reduce the risk of stress and injuries that can occur in association with tranquilising,” Kolmården vet Bim Boijsen said via a press statement.

“Training animals to let us give them blood tests, medication and X-rays helps to increase safety for the animals as well as vets and zookeepers,” Boijsen told SVT Öst.

Garp when not being X-rayed. Photo: Kolmården/TT

The zoo now hopes that X-ray treatments will become an important part of preventive care options for its animals.

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