Biopsy on giraffe at Seneca Park Zoo was successful, veterinarians says

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The biopsy on the Masai giraffe at the Seneca Park Zoo on Tuesday was successful, veterinary surgeons say.

The 6-year-old giraffe named Kipenzi has a life-threatening growth under the jaw. The veterinary team hopes the biopsy and x-ray will help them to determine how to treat the growth. Veterinarians were able to remove a sample from the growth for testing and Kipenzi is awake after undergoing anesthesia.

The growth in Kipenzi’s jaw has become so large over the past two weeks that it’s impacting her ability to eat.

Previous radiographs have determined that the growth is continuing to swell. Zoo officials first observed the growth in late spring of 2023. They started giving Kipenzi pain medications and antibiotics after noticing she had difficulty eating.

Dr. Chris McKinney, a veterinarian at Seneca Park Zoo, led the team that performed the biopsy. He was joined on site by a veterinarians from the Columbus Zoo, Genesee Valley Equine Clinic, Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Services, Pittsford Animal Hospital, ARK Animal Hospital, and other organizations.

Kipenzi arrived at the Seneca Park Zoo in August 2018 and was the first giraffe to join the Animals of the Savanna exhibit.