Hogle Zoo’s 18-year-old giraffe dies


Efforts to get Riley back to her feet have failed.

(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) A baby giraffe was licked by his father, Riley, in his cage at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City on Thursday, December 6, 2007.

An 18-year-old reticulated giraffe named Riley who became a fixture at Utah’s Hogle Zoo died Thursday.

According to zoo officials, Riley has struggled with “several age-related challenges with her mobility” – including arthritis – in recent months. According to a news release from the zoo, he seems to be doing well.

(Hogle Zoo) A crane is brought in to try to save the giraffe Riley back with its feet, but the attempt is unsuccessful.

But on Thursday morning, zoo staff discovered Riley could not stand on her own.

Zookeepers, emergency personnel from the Salt Lake City Fire Department, and a crane from the Wagstaff Crane Service attempted to bring the approximately 2,000-pound giraffe back on its feet but failed. He died later in the day.

Dr Erika Crook, veterinary director of Hogle Zoo, said: “Hogle Zoo staff and our partners were on hand immediately to assist with this giraffe emergency.

According to Bob Cisneros, Hogle’s deputy director of animal care, the average lifespan of a male giraffe is 14.7 years.

“Riley is truly a giant – without a doubt, the first animal to stand out from the crowd when guests first enter the zoo,” says Cisneros. “He touched the hearts of many as a noble and dignified ambassador, especially during our giraffe feedings.”

Riley arrived at Utah’s Hogle Zoo on June 30, 2004 and bred six giraffes. The African Savanna Zoo is home to two female giraffes – 4-year-old Minka and 3-year-old Stephanie. Hogle Zoo’s 18-year-old giraffe dies

Yasmin Harisha

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