Today we celebrate and remember Gemina, the crooked neck giraffe, who until a few years ago lived at the quaint and bucolic Santa Barbara Zoo. As a child, my little sister referred to her as "The giraffe that swallowed a stick."Gemina Memorial Fund
Quote:Gemina was born on July 16, 1986, at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. She showed no signs of a neck deformity at birth and was moved to the Santa Barbara Zoo when she was approximately one year old. Gemina's deformity did not appear until she was three years old. Her neck vertebrae began to jut out from her neck at this age. Eventually her neck became bent sharply. The last time that this type of a deformity had been documented in a giraffe was 1902. X-rays of Gemina's neck showed that her vertebrae had fused together, but scientists, zoologists and veterinarians could find no explanation for the deformity. The zoo cited her as an inspiration for disabled children, and she was featured on an episode of Miracle Workers, an ABC reality show, as an inspiration for a child with scoliosis. She was sung to by children on her 21st birthday celebration in July 2007.