Surgical castration of giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) has not been commonly performed. Large domestic animal castration has a significant complication rate that includes postoperative mortality. Documentation of castration techniques and complications in large domestic animals occurs regularly. However, literature describing castration experiences with large zoo mammals is sparse. In addition, a suitable anesthetic regimen for surgical castration of giraffe has not been confirmed. Open castration using an emasculator plus ligation was performed in three subadult giraffe weighing 555–711 kg. Scrotal incisions were left open and healed in about 6 wk. One animal developed scrotal dermatitis. No other complications occurred. As slow scrotal healing can increase the risk of ascending infection, partial or complete scrotal closure for giraffe may warrant consideration. Experiences with these animals also suggest that closed or modified closed castration may be considered for giraffe of this size. Thiafentanil, medetomidine, and ketamine plus local lidocaine provided suitable anesthesia for surgical castration.
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Vol. 40 • No. 4