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Denver Zoo campaign seeks crowdfunding for custom giraffe corral

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DENVER -- It sounds like a riddle out of "Alice in Wonderland:" How do you make a reticulated giraffe stand still?

But it's a very real challenge for the Denver Zoo and its four giraffes. When the patient stands 18 feet tall and weighs 1.5 tons, even the most routine medical checkup turns into a logistical nightmare that can be dangerous for both doctor and animal.

So the zoo is seeking crowdfunding for a "SNUGG" -- a Safe Nurturing Upright Gateway for Giraffes. The custom-made padded corral would allow zookeepers to comfortably confine the huge creatures while they undergo procedures ranging from vision checks to manicures.

Concept art for the SNUGG (Credit: Denver Zoo)

Concept art for the SNUGG (Credit: Denver Zoo)

At $75,000, the device isn't cheap. But it provides a pair of immeasurable benefits, the zoo said: The towering animals could remain standing while keepers work, and they wouldn't have to be anesthetized for procedures nearly as often.

"Because of a giraffe's unique physiology, giving anesthesia can be dangerous," the zoo notes on its crowdfunding page.

The device was designed, and would be built, in-house.

As of Wednesday, the zoo had raised nearly $35,000 of the $75,000 goal.

Learn more about the SNUGG campaign here.

 

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