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Giraffe dies suddenly at Auckland Zoo

Auckland City Council Media release

8 June 2008

Giraffe dies suddenly at Auckland Zoo

A much-loved member of Auckland Zoo's 'Pridelands' family, 22-year-old female giraffe Kay, died suddenly this morning.

Kay, who was born at the zoo in 1986, and who was the mother of six healthy offspring, fell in the Pridelands giraffe paddock around 9.45am, and died just a few minutes later.

"Kay's death is a real shock to us all, coming without any warning, and naturally staff are very upset. Kay has been in very good health to date. However, she is considered old in giraffe years," says Auckland Zoo director, Jonathan Wilcken.

A post-mortem examination is being carried out this afternoon to try to determine the cause of her death. Preliminary results of this will be available tomorrow (Monday).

Pridelands team leader Michael Batty, who was at the zoo when Kay was born, says Kay has been a wonderful mother, and always a very good companion to other giraffes in the zoo herd.

"While it's sad for us all to be saying goodbye to Kay, it is some consolation to know that her daughter, Ntombi, will be making sure that the family is represented in the coming generations. She has been identified for breeding as part of the Australasian giraffe breeding programme," says Mr Batty.

ENDS


ABOUT AUCKLAND ZOO Auckland Zoo is an enterprise of Auckland City Council. It is home to the largest collection of native and exotic wildlife species in New Zealand (over 1300 animals and 179 species) and attracts over half a million visitors annually. It is becoming increasingly well known nationally and internationally through the award-winning television programme, 'The Zoo'. At the heart of all Auckland Zoo's work and activities is its mission: "to focus the Zoo's resources to benefit conservation and provide exciting visitor experiences which inspire and empower people to take positive action for wildlife and the environment". Auckland Zoo is a member of both the Australasian Regional Association of Zoological Parks & Aquaria (ARAZPA) and the World Association of Zoos & Aquariums (WAZA).

ENDS

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