COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — “Almost immediately she was choosing to stand on the shoes a lot more, and to me, looked like she was moving a lot better,” said Liza Dadone, Head Veterinarian at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
A giraffe at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo got some new kicks a few weeks ago, and they are now seeing the benefits.
Some of the older giraffe at the zoo got fitted for these rubber arthritis shoes.
The head vet at the zoo says when giraffe get older, they often develop arthritis because of how much they weigh.
But these shoes have a special design because of the animal’s unique hooves and toes.
“Giraffe have two toes on each foot, like a cow. And so this goes on one side of that. And so using a horse design shoe wasn’t going to work, because these feet are so much bigger, and there’s two toes on each foot,” Dadone said.
On top of hoof trimming and maintenance, these shoes are helping giraffe deal with the pain they feel on a daily basis.
They’ve had the shoes for 22 days now, and both the giraffe and the zoo staff have seen the improvements in their body language and mood.