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Keeper Kim holds an anesthesia mask secure on Ajabu during his exam.

During a routine wellness exam in July, radiographs revealed a bony growth on four-year-old klipspringer Ajabu’s left hindlimb. The growth (which is likely a benign tumor) had not appeared to cause Ajabu pain or mobility issues outside of an occasional limp, so we decided to take a wait-and see approach and check on the growth in sixth months.

Ajabu was brought back to the Harris Animal Care Center on Tuesday for the recheck. He was anesthetized for radiographs, which revealed the growth has grown a few millimeters since the previous exam. While he was under, veterinary staff drew blood for testing; administered a vitamin shot; used a sonogram machine to view his internal organs; and looked at his eyes, mouth and overall body condition. No additional issues were discovered.


comparing radiographs

Veterinary intern Alan compares the radiographs of Ajabu’s growth.

Following the exam, Ajabu was brought to a stall adjacent to his habitat while the anesthesia wore off. His keepers kept a close eye on him during this process and returned him to the yard once he recovered.

Assuming Ajabu continues to appear healthy and comfortable, we will recheck the growth once per year. If his condition declines, we may bring him in for another exam and consider surgical removal of the growth.