Jegede et al. 2016


Sokoto Journal of Veterinary Sciences, Volume 14 (Number 1). April, 2016


Fatal abomasal sand impaction in a giraffe calf (Giraffacamelopardalis) at the University of Ilorin zoological garden


HO Jegede1*, AY Adenkola2, A Obalowu1, FR Olowoleni1& PO Odeniran3


  1. Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria

  2. Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria

  3. Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology. Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria




*Correspondence: Tel.: +2348038070602, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



A post-mortem examination was carried out on a 4-month-old giraffe which was reported dead early hours of the morning in the zoological garden, University of Ilorin. The carcass of the animal appeared slightly emaciated and on opening of the carcass the abomasum was distended with a hard mass felt inside the organ. On opening of the organ, it was filled with sand and weighing 3.8kg. Geophagia due to various factors were queried in the cause of the condition including seasonal prevalence, nutrient deficiencies, feeding regimen and also housing inadequacies. Although poor milk intake, absence of maternal nurturing and inadequate captive conditions are the most likely causes of geophagia which eventually led to the death of the animal.

Keywords: Abomasum, Sand impaction, Geophagia, Giraffe, Nigeria


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