The anesthesia/immobilization of giraffe is a unique specialty due to a combination of problems usually encountered in the procedure resulting in mortality or morbidity to the patient. This paper presents a historical description of the early drugs and methods and documents of the advances made in giraffe anesthesia during the last three decades. Also included are the current suggestions for both standing sedation and anesthesia/immobilization of this unique species. Suggestions include managing the giraffe prior to, during and following an anesthesia/immobilization. The differences between anesthesia/immobilization in captive and free ranging are compared and contrasted, with the true challenge being the free ranging animal where there is less control of the situation. The current techniques have an improved safety record due to the development of newer and safer drugs, plus the development and use of improved physiological monitoring equipment to help assure the safety of the patient. The studies to develop safe anesthesia are a continuing challenge. To deliver appropriate health care to species maintained in zoological collections it is necessary for the medical staff to manipulate individuals by physical and/or chemical means. Safe anesthetic protocols are also necessary for many conservation based field studies and translocation programs on free-living individuals, since an adverse anesthesia reaction can curtail such programs.