Adorable moment a baby giraffe takes his first steps outside

Adorable moment a baby giraffe takes his first steps outside after medics gave him custom-made shoes when he was born with wonky hind legs

  • Hasani was born at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington, this month
  • Zoo keepers diagnosed him with non-aligned hooves or ‘hyperextended fetlocks’
  • The custom-made shoes have grooves which fit the calf’s feet and help him walk
  • A Kentucky-based specialist traveled 2,000 miles to help attach the calf’s shoes 

A baby giraffe with wonky hind legs has learned to take his first steps thanks to a pair of custom-made shoes. 

Hasani the giraffe was born at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington, with his rear hooves not properly aligned. 

Zoo keepers wrapped his legs in a cast in a bid to straighten them before fitting the specially crafted footwear, which has grooves that fit the calf’s feet and supports the animal’s legs. 

A Kentucky-based veterinarian traveled more than 2,000 miles to help the calf get on his feet.  


Hasani the giraffe was born at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington, with his rear hooves not properly aligned, but has now been fitted with custom-made shoes (pictured)

Made of durable metal, the shoes have an acrylic foundation and moulding on top that wraps around and secures the shoes to Hasani’s hooves.

They have a textured bottom for extra grip as the young calf becomes more steady on his feet.

Dr Darin Collins, director of animal health said: ‘We noticed right away that each rear foot was not in normal alignment, a condition known as hyperextended fetlocks.

‘The condition, known as hyperextended fetlocks, is well documented in horses and has been known to occur in giraffes.

‘We have applied casts on both rear legs to help heal the tendons, which is the current best practice in treating this condition in newborns.’

A close-up view of the therapeutic shoes which Hasani the baby giraffe has been given to help him walk and exercise after he was born with misaligned legs 

Hasani the baby giraffe with mother Olivia. He was was born to mom Olivia and six-year-old father Dave on May 2 and named after his paternal grandfather

The park’s exhibits team built a trial pair of therapeutic shoes for Hasani until the specialist from the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital visited the zoo.

Dr Tim Storms, an associate vet who helped treat Hasani, said: ‘Last week our exhibits team made a heroic effort by custom-making shoes with short notice to help our little giraffe.

‘And now, a colleague from across the country has donated his time and materials to make these specialised shoes.

‘We feel so grateful for all the help we’ve received and the overwhelming outpouring of best wishes from our community.

‘We’re very touched by their eagerness to lend their expertise to caring for this new life. It’s been all hands on deck for our baby.’

Keepers at Woodland Park Zoo fitting baby giraffe Hasani with his new theraputic shoes. One medic traveled more than 2,000 miles to help him 

Hasani’s new shoes are more water-resistant than his temporary wooden design and his leg bandages have now been removed as part of the next phase of treatment.

Dr Storms said: ‘This whole-toe wrap binds the toes more snugly to stabilise the shoe and provide a stronger grip to the hoof.

‘This will be better for walking outdoors on wet ground and will allow him to exercise more, which is critical to his development.’

Hasani, which means handsome in Swahili, was born to mom Olivia and six-year-old father Dave on May 2 and named after his paternal grandfather.

Other than the abnormalities in his rear legs, 18 day old Hasani remains in good health and is nursing and bonding with mum Olivia in the zoo’s barn.

Both mom and baby will remain out of the public eye for an indefinite period while Hasani gets used to his new shoes. 

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