A Retrospective survey of neoplasia in managed giraffes (giraffa camelopardalis)

Greta Doden, Michael M. Garner, Lisa M. Mangus, Samantha Sander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) are commonly managed in zoos and conservation programs worldwide, but the current understanding of the occurrence and progression of neoplastic disease in this species is limited by the scarcity of published reports. This study collated documented cases of neoplasia on the basis of gross and histologic evaluation of ante-and postmortem samples. In total, 30 giraffes from 22 institutions across the United States were included. Subspecies was not reported in all cases, but those identified included Masai (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi), Rothschild (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi), and reticulated subspecies (Giraffe camelopardalis reticulata). Thirteen animals died natural deaths, 15 were euthanized, and 2 were alive at the time of this article. A total of 38 tumors were reported and classified as 18 different diagnoses, including leiomyoma (7), adenoma (4), luteoma (4), lymphoma (4), pheochromocytoma (3), squamous cell carcinoma (3), adenocarcinoma (2), ameloblastic fibroma (1), carcinomatosis of undetermined cell lineage (1), cavernous hemangioma (1), cystic granulosa cell tumor (1), dysgerminoma (1), fibrosarcoma (1), leukemia (1), lipoma (1), pituitary nerve sheath tumor (1), rhabdomyosarcoma (1), and teratoma (1). Multiple concurrent neoplastic lesions were documented in six cases. Mesenchymal tumors (18) were the majority of neoplasms. The most prevalent location, regardless of tumor type, was the female reproductive tract (14). Twenty-four neoplastic lesions were incidental findings at necropsy, whereas eight neoplasms were considered to be the primary cause of death. The findings reported here identify multiple neoplastic lesions in giraffes and could provide insight to the future management of this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-336
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary


Dive into the research topics of 'A Retrospective survey of neoplasia in managed giraffes (giraffa camelopardalis)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this