Giraffe in surgery for terminal defect in Oklahoma

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City Zoo officials say a 6-month-old female giraffe with a potentially terminal heart defect is headed into surgery.

Kyah has an extra blood vessel wrapped around her esophagus — a symptom of a congenital heart defect — that prevents her from holding down much of what she eats.

The surgery is taking place Tuesday at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. Zoo veterinarian Dr. Gretchen Cole says Kyah has a 50 percent chance of survival after the surgery, but without it she has none.

Cole says she believes Kyah is the first giraffe to undergo the procedure. If the surgery is a success, Kyah could be back on her feet within two weeks.

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