“Handsome” Giraffe’s New Shoes Will Help Him Walk


Many of us have foot problems, and we are grateful for our experienced podiatrists at PodiatryCare, PC and the Heel Pain Center who keep our feet healthy and happy! But what happens when a wild animal – even in captivity – is born with a serious foot problem?

That’s exactly what happened recently at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. Hasani – Swahili for “handsome” – was born with a condition called hyperextended fetlocks. This problem, common in horses, means that his rear feet are not in normal alignment.

“Handsome” Needed Custom-Made Therapeutic Giraffe Shoes

Just as we prescribe custom-fitted orthotics for gait problems as well as for conditions like plantar fasciitis (heel pain), arch pain, hammertoe , and bunions, the zoo “hoof doctor” along with a team of volunteers got to work and made custom wooden therapeutic shoes for the little giraffe.

The shoes, which have textured metal bottoms for good grip on various outdoor surfaces, will be worn on a trial basis. Because they are waterproof, they will help the giraffe get more exercise, which is very important to the development. The doctors also made Hasani leg casts that will help with the healing process.

Hasani’s treatment will take months, and this is just the beginning. For now, he and his mother are staying in the giraffe barn and out of sight of the many visitors wishing him well.

Rumor has it that the other giraffes want new shoes too. “Handsome” may have started a new trend at the Woodland Park Zoo!

We love stories about animal care, and even if we aren’t equipped to help a baby giraffe walk better, we are the experts in foot and ankle care for humans of all ages! Foot pain is not normal – please make an appointment to see us at one of our many central Connecticut offices for a complete assessment of your problem.

Let Us Help Relieve Your Foot and Ankle Pain

The foot specialists at PodiatryCare, PC and the Heel Pain Center have extensive experience in treating all aspects of foot problems. Our team of doctors which consists of Dr. Robert Marra, Dr. Thomas Johnson, Dr. Kristen Winters, Dr. Laura Vander Poel, and Dr. Ryan Donegan is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. Many treatments and surgeries can be handled right in our offices. Please call us at (860) 741-3041 to make an appointment in one of our offices in Hartford County, conveniently located in Enfield, Windsor and South Windsor, CT.