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Baby giraffe learns to walk with custom leg braces

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Here’s a tall tale that has proved to be an impressive stand-up job

A baby giraffe named Msituni born in a U.S. zoo with leg-related abnormalities is thriving after bring fitted with custom leg braces.

The unusual disorder made her front legs bend the wrong way – making it difficult for her to walk or stand on her own, posing a threat to her survival.

Safari park staff feared she could die if they did not take immediate action to correct her condition.

This proved especially challenging given that she was a 178-centimetre newborn weighing 55-kilograms and they had no experience at fitting a brace onto a baby giraffe before.

The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance partnered up with orthotists from Hanger Clinic to create moldings of the calf’s legs and then eventually the orthotic braces to help the baby giraffe.

 “We are so glad to have the resources and expertise to step in and provide this young calf the opportunity for a full life,” said Matt Kinney, DVM, senior veterinarian at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

“Without these lifesaving braces to provide support, the position of her legs would have become increasingly more painful and progressed to a point she would not have been able to overcome.”

Hanger Clinic worked with a company that makes horse braces to make the custom braces that work, as they would need to have a range of motion but be durable as well.

It took eight days to make the carbon graphite braces that featured the animal’s distinct pattern of crooked spots to match her fur using the cast mouldings of the giraffe’s legs.

In the end, Msituni only needed one brace as the other leg corrected itself with the medical-grade brace.

After ten days in the custom brace, the problem was corrected.

Msituni was in braces for 39 days from the day she was born and stayed in the animal hospital for the duration of this time.

Following this, she was slowly introduced to her mum and others in the herd.

Unfortunately, her mum rejected her but then different female giraffe has adopted her, so to speak, and now she runs around with other giraffes in the 60-acre habitat at Safari Park.

Danaya Malenda contributed to this report.

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Japanese billionaire could be first on Musk’s moon journey

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Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa says he plans to make a “big announcement” related to space after a meeting with Elon Musk.

The founder of the online fashion site Zozo Inc, completed a tourist trip to the International Space Station on a Soyuz spacecraft in December last year.

Now he plans to journey around the moon with Musk’s rocket and satellite company SpaceX next year.

The 47-year-old entrepreneur tweeted that he had held an online meeting with Musk and “can now make a big announcement about space on December 9”.

The space enthusiast will likely become the first private passenger on a SpaceX moon mission with a week-long fly-by planned for 2023.

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Elon Musk on Kanye: “I wanted to punch him”

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Elon Musk admits he wanted to “punch” Kanye West after the rapper last week tweeted an image of a swastika intertwined with a Star of David.

Musk had described himself as a “free speech absolutist” – but he suspended Ye’s account shortly after the post – for incitement to violence.

Pre-Musk Twitter had previously restricted Ye’s account in October after he vowed to go “death con 3 on Jewish people.”

Now Musk has spoken out about the latest controversy.

“I personally wanted to punch Kanye, so that was definitely inciting me to violence. That’s not cool,” Musk said during a question-and-answer session on “Twitter Spaces”.

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Facebook and Google could soon pay for news in New Zealand

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New Zealand officials are seeking to pull digital media providers into line when it comes to paying for news

Digital companies like Google and Meta could begin paying media companies in New Zealand under a new scheme designed to protect local content publishers.

Lawmakers in Wellington will vote on the bill, where Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Government is expected to pass it.

Willie Jackson is the Minister of Broadcasting, who said news outlets will benefit from deals reached with digital platforms.

“New Zealand news media, particularly small regional and community newspapers, are struggling to remain financially viable as more advertising moves online.”

The legislation is based on similar laws already passed in Canada and Australia.

“It is critical that those benefiting from their news content actually pay for it,” Mr Jackson said.

The Australian Government introduced the News Media Bargaining Code in 2021, which has led to 30 deals between media outlets and tech firms.

It allows lawmakers to step in when tech companies are negotiating content deals with local media outlets.

The Treasury Department recently found the “agreements have enabled news businesses to, in particular, employ additional journalists and make other valuable investments to assist their operations.”

The agreements are based on how often content is clicked, which ultimately leads to advertising revenue.

Google has cemented agreements with Nine Entertainment and Seven West Media, which are scheduled to run for five years.

Meanwhile, Meta has reportedly reached commercial agreements with 13 news businesses.

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