It was a very tall order — but an Oklahoma chiropractor gave a neck adjustment to a 16-foot male giraffe, The Washington Post reports, and he displayed the whole procedure in a series of cuddly TikTok videos that quickly went viral.

In these clips, chiropractor Joren Whitley, seen standing on a raised platform to access the upper region of Gerry the giraffe, confidently takes the massive head of the animal and pushes on his neck and jaw, eliciting an audible crack.

Afterwards, Gerry the giraffe snuggles with Whitley and bats his doe-like eyes, seemingly grateful that he can now move the left side of his jaw, Whitley says in one of the clips posted last month.

"Being able to work on a giraffe is a chiropractor's dream," he told CNN. "It's the largest neck in the world."

Whitley made the unusual house call after Gerry's owner, longhorn cattle rancher Missy Nowell, noticed that the hoofed mammal wasn't chewing properly, according to WaPo. After Whitley's intervention, Gerry was apparently chewing normally again.

"I would describe it as an immediate positive response," Nowell told the newspaper.

Besides humans, Whitley does chiropractor work on dogs, cats, horses, chickens and even bats — all of which he shows off on his TikTok account, which has 1.8 million followers.

In one video posted in February, he adjusted the neck of a chicken named Mirabella, which should send any spine surgeon into a fit of vapors because: one, it's a chicken; two, chickens have even more delicate necks and spines compared to us humans; and three, the science of chiropractic medicine is still widely seen by board-certified medical doctors and scientists as quack science.

In an article published last year in The New York Times, health and science writer Dana G. Smith explored the issue of chiropractic medicine and arterial dissection, when blood vessels connected between the heart and brain are sheared, a major concern among spine doctors.

Some arterial dissections happen without the patient knowing, and the most severe cases can result in death.

Research on tying arterial dissection to chiropractic neck and spine manipulation is mixed, Smith writes. Chiropractors say it's exceedingly rare, with a rate of one out of 5.8 million spinal adjustments, while a 2014 paper estimated it to occur in one out of 1,000 cases.

The Rothman Orthopaedic Institute in Philadelphia chief of spine surgery Alan Hilibrand told Smith he's wary about chiropractors doing spine and neck manipulations, though he said "there’s no smoking gun" in connecting arterial dissection to chiropractic medicine.

Despite these issues around chiropractic medicine, Gerry the giraffe seems to be on the mend and his owner was pleased.

"When I made the adjustments, he rubbed his head all over me like ‘You’re my best friend,'" Whitley told WaPo.

More on giraffes: The Latest Casualty of Mass Extinction Events? Giraffes

Share This Article