Giraffe Restraint, Habituation, and Desensitization at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Author(s)Paul P. Calle & John C. Bornmann, II
Year Published1988
JournalZoo Biology
Page Numbers243-252
Size6.68 MB

The giraffe restraint device manufactured at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has the capability to fully support the weight of an immobilized adult giraffe in an upright posture and allow physical restraint of giraffe. The unit has been used for either chemical or physical restraint 74 times in 22 months, on seven different adult giraffe, without animal or personnel injuries. Habituation and desensitization of the giraffe are critical prerequisites for the successful use of the giraffe restraint device.

Yohimbine effectively reversed the effects of xylazine sedation of giraffe. A drug combination of detomidine and azaperone offers promise as an alternative to either physical restraint or immobilization of giraffe for selected clinical and investigative procedures.

Using the restraint device it has been possible to perform tuberculin testing, venipuncture, vaginal examination, rectal palpation, rectal ultrasound, cervical catherization, hoof-trimming, and placement of a hoof block on awake, habituated, and desensitized giraffe.

Keywords: Physical restraint, Chemical restraint, Design, Immobilization
Authors: Paul P. Calle & John C. Bornmann, II
Journal: Zoo Biology

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