Giraffe Dies In Surgery For Terminal Heart Defect - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Giraffe Dies In Surgery For Terminal Heart Defect

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Six-month-old Kyah, a giraffe at the Oklahoma City Zoo, stands next to her mother, Ellie, at the zoo in Oklahoma City, Friday, April 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) Six-month-old Kyah, a giraffe at the Oklahoma City Zoo, stands next to her mother, Ellie, at the zoo in Oklahoma City, Friday, April 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City Zoo officials say a 6-month-old female giraffe with a terminal heart defect has died during surgery.

Kyah had an extra blood vessel wrapped around her esophagus — a symptom of a congenital heart defect — that prevented her from holding down solid food.

Zoo spokeswoman Candice Rennels says Kyah was euthanized during surgery when surgeons realized she would not overcome complications of the hourslong surgery.

The surgery took place Tuesday at Oklahoma State University's Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. Zoo veterinarian Dr. Gretchen Cole said before the surgery that at best, Kyah had a 50 percent chance of survival.

Cole said this was the first attempt of this procedure on a giraffe.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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