OKC Zoo giraffe in surgery for terminal defect

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Officials from the Oklahoma City Zoo say Kyah, the 6-month-old giraffe with a potentially terminal heart defect, is headed into surgery.

Kyah has an extra blood vessel wrapped around her esophagus — a symptom of a congenital heart defect — that prevents her from holding down much of what she eats.

The surgery is taking place Tuesday at Oklahoma State University's Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. Zoo veterinarian Dr. Gretchen Cole says Kyah has a 50 percent chance of survival, but without it she has none.

Cole says Kyah is believed to be the first giraffe to undergo the procedure. If the surgery is a success, Kyah could be back on her feet within two weeks.

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