Standing at close to five metres in height, successfully getting an X-ray on Armani the giraffe is a tall order.
But thanks to the special bond he shares with zoo keepers, this gentle giant poses for his dental X-rays with ease!
At 20-years-old, Armani is well into his golden oldie years. These dental X-rays are an important way for us to keep on top of his health and make sure he’s getting all he needs as a geriatric giraffe.
Perth Zoo Veterinarian, Taylor Hawkins, said: “As an older giraffe, it’s really important we conduct these regular checks to make sure Armani is as happy and healthy as possible in his twilight years.
“From these images, we can see signs of dental disease, which is common for a giraffe his age, so we have a plan in place to try and slow its progression with medication.
“His animal carers have done an excellent job with his training, so we are able to get regular images of his teeth to continue monitoring him closely.”
Our team of dedicated ungulate keepers have been hard at work with Armani’s positive reinforcement training to ensure these regular checks are stress-free.
The target training involves Armani poking a stick with his nose and holding it before he is given a delicious carrot treat.
Keepers position the radiograph plates carefully so that when Armani hits the target, he is in the perfect spot for a clear X-ray image of his chompers!
This style of positive reinforcement training encourages Armani to be involved in his medical care, and keeps the whole process stress-free. Plus, he gets to enjoy plenty of delicious snacks, making the whole experience mutually beneficial!
Perth Zoo is home to 1500 animals and it’s our job to give each one – big and small - individual personalised care so they can live a, healthy life.
Our expert animal carers put a lot of time and effort into clever training programs that are both mentally enriching and can help to reduce stress when it comes to necessary healthcare.
Thanks to this hard work, we can provide gold standard medical care without compromising welfare!