Melbourne, FL – This week, the Brevard Zoo announced that one of their original five giraffes to be on habitat when Expedition Africa opened in 2003 died. The 25-year-old giraffe, Rafiki, was humanely euthanized on Sunday due to age-related issues.
In a release, the zoo said:
Rafiki’s condition and quality of life worsened over the weekend. We decided that euthanasia was the most compassionate choice for him. Rafiki was surrounded by some of the animal care staff who have cared for him and loved him over the years.
Jon Brangan, Deputy Director of Brevard Zoo, said:
“Rafiki was the first animal to arrive at the Zoo for Africa, and he walked off the trailer ready to make his mark capturing the hearts of everyone he came across. His magnetic personality never wavered, bringing joy to our staff, volunteers and thousands of visiting guests for nearly 20 years. He will be profoundly missed by our Zoo family and our entire community.”
Africa Platform area supervisor Alyssa Simon added:
“There is no doubt his legacy will live on, in his descendants, in our keepers, in our guests and volunteers, and in the amazing care we provide to all our animals. He will be greatly missed.”
Keeper Vanessa Kunz said:
“Walking into the barn will never feel the same without him there but I will always cherish all the memories I have with him.”
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