Sophie the giraffe gets a pedicure: Zoo staff file down 'overgrown' hooves giving her a new 'spring in her step'


Long limbed: A sedated Sophie undergoing the operation to trim back her overgrown hooves on Tuesday

When Sophie arrived at her new home with overgrown hooves, she was in desperate need of a pedicure.

The 17-year-old giraffe would have ended up developing ankle problems were if not for staff at Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park giving her a spot of beauty treatment.

Long-legged Sophie had overgrown hooves when she was transferred was transferred from Dudley Zoo in the West Midlands to the adventure park near Stirling, last year.

Snip: Colin Scott, head vet at the park clips back Sophie's hooves using a giant pair of clippers

The average hoof of an adult giraffe is about the same size as a dinner plate and can reach 12 inches in diameter.

In the wild, giraffes gallop vast distances across hard soil, which wears down their hooves, but that is not always the case when they are living in captivity.

Staff waited to see whether Sophie's hooves would wear down naturally, but when they didn't it was decided a pedicure was the only way forward.

Head Vet Colin Scott is helped by a colleague who holds one of Sophie's long legs in place while another member of staff holds a huge 'nail file' nearby

She was sedated with tranqulisers and a team of vets and nurses lead by head vet, Colin Scott rolled up their sleeves for a hard working hour and a half to clip her hooves on Tuesday.

They used giant metal clippers and a huge 'nail' file to shape the hooves afterwards.
Park manager, Gary Gilmour said Sophie is recovering well and now has a 'spring in her step'.

Mr Scott puts his glasses on as he moves in to get a closer look during the operation

'She really is a great giraffe. She's a lot happier as she can run faster now and we're pleased to see she's got a spring back in her step'.

There are four giraffes living at the adventure park cared for by the park's head giraffe keeper Chris Lucas.

The park's other animals include rhinos, zebras, elephants and chimps.

source: dailymail