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Zoo staff devastated by loss of giraffe

16 November 2007

Zoo staff devastated by loss of giraffe

Wellington Zoo’s male giraffe, Ricky, died yesterday afternoon from unknown causes.

The Zoo’s General Manager Operations, Mauritz Basson, said the 20-year-old giraffe died just over a week after being moved, along with two other giraffes, into a new and bigger enclosure.

Mr Basson said Zoo staff “are all devastated at this loss, as we know Zoo visitors will be, as Ricky was very popular”.

“Ricky’s keepers noticed that he wasn’t interested in his food on Wednesday, and he was constantly monitored until 10pm when he was given his last dose of medication for the day.

“Yesterday morning he seemed to have perked up a bit and he was still under constant monitoring but as the day went on his condition deteriorated. We managed to get him standing – but he died as we were administering treatment.

Mr Basson says staff have conducted a post-mortem and are waiting for the results to determine the exact cause of death.

“We don’t believe Ricky’s death was connected to last week’s move, early indications show that he died from old age or cardio-vascular failure, but we won’t know for certain until we receive the histopathology results. Our two other giraffes, Zahara and Tisa, are doing fine.”

Ricky was born at Taronga Zoo in Sydney and has been at Wellington Zoo since 1988.


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