Helminths in a giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa) from a zoo in Spain

A pregnant female Cape giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa) died from an unknown cause in the Aitana Zoo, Alicante, Spain. Neither clinical signs nor macroscopic lesions were observed at necropsy. The alimentary tract was removed and examined for parasites. A total of 2 724 nematodes were found, including Camelostrongylus mentulatus, Trichostrongylus axei, Ostertagia ostertagi, Teladorsagia circumcincta, Teladorsagia trifurcata, Marshallagia marshalli, Trichostrongylus vitrinus, Trichostrongylus colubriformis, Spiculopteragia asymmetrica and Trichuris giraffae. Only T. giraffae and C. mentulatus have been previously reported from giraffes. The other nematodes are common in mouflons, fallow and red deer, which can usually be found in the same paddock as the giraffes in Aitana Zoo. Although its occurrence is unusual in this host, C. mentulatus was the most abundant nematode in our giraffe. This parasite has been related to disease, and even death, in several wild ruminants.

Last Updated
January 26, 2021
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