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Reid Park Zoo Share Sad News of Oldest Giraffes Passing

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: September 25, 2021 1:00 am

Giraffe Passing at Reid Park Zoo

Denver the oldest giraffe at Reid Park Zoo has sadly passed away at 32 years old

Photo Credit: Reid Park Zoo

Reid Park zoo have bid a fond farewell to their oldest giraffe, Denver who was humanely euthanized following health concerns which had led to a decline in her quality of life.

32 years is an extraordinary lifespan for a giraffe which typically don't live over 20 years. Denver is the oldest giraffe to ever live at Reid Park Zoo and was the second oldest giraffe in the Species Survival Plan at the time of her passing.

Giraffe Passing at Reid Park Zoo

Denver the oldest giraffe at Reid Park Zoo has sadly passed away at 32 years old

Photo Credit: Reid Park Zoo

Dr. Sue Tygielski, Director of Zoo Operations reflected on her life, "Losing Denver is much bigger than her herd saying goodbye. Our three remaining giraffes will miss her, but her passing is profoundly sad for all of her human fans as well. She touched so many staff over the years as a gentle and curious giraffe. Denver was always the first giraffe in line to interact with her care team and to spy on whatever her zookeepers were doing. She connected with our guests year after year in giraffe feeding encounters. Some children grew up feeding her on every trip to the Zoo. She will be greatly missed by all."

Denver had been healthy for her entire life but in recent years her muscle mass had begun to reduce and she was eating less. Keepers also noticed tenderness in her hip.

“Despite successful long-term treatments and therapies, it became clear these conditions could no longer be medically managed and the decision to proceed with humane euthanasia was in Denver’s best interest,” said Dr. Alexis Roth, Chief Veterinarian at Reid Park Zoo.

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Reid Park Zoo staff are monitoring the rest of the zoo's giraffe herd made up of three members: Jasiri (age 10), Penelope (age 3), and Sota (age 2). Following her euthanasia the herd was given an opportunity to see Denver and say goodbye.

“Denver was an incredible ambassador for her species and will be deeply missed at the Zoo,” said Nancy Kluge, Reid Park Zoological Society’s President & CEO. “Over the years she inspired millions of people to connect with nature and to care about giraffes as a species, and she brought the Zoo staff joy every day.” 

Giraffe are listed as vulnerable to extinction and the zoo have a partnership with Giraffe Conservation Foundation to save wild giraffes in Uganda.

Giraffe Passing at Reid Park Zoo

Denver the oldest giraffe at Reid Park Zoo has sadly passed away at 32 years old

Photo Credit: Reid Park Zoo

Learn more about Giraffe here – Giraffe Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Reid Park Zoo on their website – Reid Park Zoo

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