The Reid Park Zoo announced Friday they euthanized a 3-year-old giraffe because of issues with his ankle. In a press release, officials said they made the decision today during a medical procedure to find out why Sota’s ankle was so swollen. They found the ankle had no useable cartilage and would not support his weight. “While the decision to euthanize is never easy, we know it was the only option as Sota’s quality of life would decline quickly,” said Dr. Sue Tygielski, Chief operating officer of Reid Park Zoo. Zoo officials say it’s not clear how Sota injured his ankle. Staff first noticed he was uncomfortable and developed a slight limp. They started monitoring his leg health and gave him daily treatments including pain medication. Friday’s procedure was the team’s second attempt to support the ankle. “Our hearts go out to the team that worked so closely with Sota every day,” said Reid Park Zoo president and CEO Nancy Kluge. “We also want to extend a sincere thank you to the medical team, both from the Zoo and the specialists who came to assist in the procedure, for doing everything they could for Sota. We appreciate your efforts.”Sota leaves behind two other giraffes at the Reid Park Zoo. Penelope and Jasiri were allowed to visit his body today… and a behavioral team will monitor them in the weeks to come.