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Giraffe in Scotland gets visit from the dentist


A 14-year-old giraffe at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling in Scotland has been put under general anaesthetic so that dentists can check her teeth and try to tackle her problems with chewing food. Kelly the giraffe had a team of 12 vets and park staff to assist with the 30-minute procedure, during which an x-ray was taken and her teeth were inspected.

Veterinary surgeon Ian Rodger found food caught in the gaps between her teeth but was expecting to be confronted with something much more significant than a simple cleaning job after staff reported that the giraffe was struggling to chew her food properly and they found undigested food in her dung – which suggests that the food was not being broken down effectively by her teeth.

Mr Rodger said ‘We don’t undertake anaesthesia in a giraffe lightly but this is a problem that’s been working away for a wee while now and we felt we had no choice but to explore the mouth, and hopefully based on that and based on the x-ray, we can make some decisions as to how to put a treatment programme in place.’ Kelly came round from her anaesthesia gradually and was re-integrated with the other giraffes that she shares a compound with.

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