Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: October 16, 2021 10:35 pm
Photo Credit: Zoo Atlanta
Zoo Atlanta are mourning the sad passing of the eldest member of their giraffe herd, Abu. At 16 years old he was considered to be geriatric and had been under monitoring by The Animal Care and Veterinary Teams in the days before.
Following a sharp decline in his health caregivers made a decision that he had a poor prognosis and his condition would be impacting on his quality of life. Unfortunately the team were left with no choice but to euthanize him on October 15th 2021.
“This is a very sad day for Zoo Atlanta. Abu was very special to so many, both within the Zoo team and among our Members and guests,” said Sam Rivera, DVM, Senior Director of Animal Health.
“Our Animal Care and Veterinary Teams have worked tirelessly in their efforts to care for Abu, always with his well-being foremost in our minds, and pursued every option available to us in terms of his treatment. We have all appreciated the amazing support of our Zoo Atlanta community, Members and friends for our efforts and for Abu.”
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Abu had been suffering the effects of arthritis for a number of years and Zoo Atlanta have applied significant and innovative processes to treat this. In 2020 he underwent a general anesthetic to facilitate hoof work.
Another procedure followed in May 2021 in which he was fitted with two special therapeutic shoes to try and slow the progression of arthritis. He also received stem cell therapy. His final procedure in August 2021 was undertaken to remove the shoes which were not meant to be worn for long periods.
His dedicated care team have worked with Abu on training to allow for therapy, foot work and blood draws to be undertaken so he could receive the best possible treatment.
Abu had live at Zoo Atlanta since 2007. In this time he fathered two calves include the first ever born at Zoo Atlanta. He then became the leader of an all-male herd.
A necropsy, the animal version of an autopsy will be conducted to allow carers to learn more about giraffe health and care.