Pedicure for 17 foot tall Giraffe Jambo
11th January 2022
A pedicure is a perfect act of pampering even when the nail cutters could shear through metal and the recipient is a 17 foot tall giraffe!
Rangers at the award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park showed their gentle touch as they coaxed Jambo to have his hooves trimmed and shaped.
The team have been training the park’s giraffes Jambo, Palle and Jengo to place their feet onto a trimming block to ensure a smooth cutting and filing procedure to keep their hooves in shape.
“We practice this regularly with each giraffe and use positive reinforcement to encourage them to present their hooves in the best and most comfortable positions so we can work on them if necessary,” said Kyrie Birkett, Hoofstock Deputy Team Leader, at the park, at Branton, near Doncaster. “This was the first time the giraffes have had the hoof trimmer work on their feet and they were all brilliant.
“Having them trained allows us to keep a close eye on them for any problems before they develop and the giraffes really enjoy it because they get lots of food rewards.”
Specialist animal foot trimmer Simon Fleet added: “Trimming their feet is just like trimming our toe nails. If they are left to become overgrown and unbalanced this, in time, could lead to them being uncomfortable. As with all routine work prevention is always better than cure.
“None of this work I have been involved with could happen without the hard work and dedication to training and care that the rangers provide on a daily basis.”
The 175-acre park, which is the UK’s No. 1 walkthrough wildlife adventure, is home to more than 400 rare and endangered animals including its trio of Rothschild giraffes.
Only around 1,500 Rothschild giraffes remain in the wild, mainly in northern Uganda, and the WildLife Foundation charity which is based at the park is part of an international effort to save the species.