In a Facebook live video posted Monday night, employees of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo announced that they had made the difficult decision to put Penny, the zoo's 200th giraffe, to sleep
On Sunday, Penny became University brought to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Colorado State to be operated on an abscess in her abdomen. The vets there soon found out that Penny's condition was worse than previously thought.
The zoo said Penny found an abscess that spread into her abdomen and there was evidence that an infection had spread to three of her legs. The veterinary team also found a dislocated hip joint that was not found on several radiographs in recent weeks.
The team finally decided that the giraffe could not overcome the medical problems to lead a quality life, leading veterinarians the euthanasia giraffe nearly two months old.
The zoo released the following statement Monday night:
We are absolutely heartbroken, but we really appreciate all your support over this almost two-month journey. The outpouring of love, thoughts, prayers and kind words was unshakable and overwhelming. While this is not the expected outcome, we are confident that Penny's legacy will continue in our work to improve giraffe medical and animal care in zoos around the world. Thanks to Penny, more people are now being informed about the plight of giraffes in the wild. We will soon begin the planning process for a penny monument and will be able to share more details as our employees regroup and move forward in the coming days.
The zoo also added that its upcoming trip to Uganda will help in support of giraffe conservation efforts will be dedicated to Penny's memory.
The giraffe was born on June 4th, watched live by thousands on Facebook.
Medical problems first occurred to Penny when she was 9 days old when the giraffe's legs went under her. The zoo staff closely followed their condition, assisting them with standing and feeding while recovering.
Ultimately, treatments to help the giraffe did not work, which led the giraffe to setbacks in the coming weeks] In a press release on Monday evening, the zoo described Penny as the employees' favorite. The giraffe was described as a gentle and friendly animal that helped to find her own name when she was limited to two options: Mia and Penny.
The staff said they played ABBA's "Mamma Mia" and the Beatles "Penny Lane" and when the giraffe's ears showed up as the Fab Four's classic played it made the decision easy.
The zoo announced that it will close the giraffe buildings Tuesday and Wednesday to give zoo keepers some privacy. The zoo said a box will be placed outside the building so visitors can leave cards for the keepers.