Denver, CO – Staff at the Denver Zoo is mourning the loss of an elderly reticulated giraffe named Kipele. The 29-year-old giraffe, born at the zoo on August 16, 1993, was humanely euthanized after an “acute decline in her health.”
The zoo made the announcement via social media on Wednesday, writing:
Due to Kipele’s advanced age and mobility issues we were managing, our animal care and veterinary medicine teams have been closely monitoring her quality of life. When her health suddenly declined, our teams made the very difficult decision to humanely euthanize Kipele so her quality of life and welfare did not suffer. She passed peacefully on March 7, surrounded by those who loved and cared for her.
Thanking the staff who was by Kipele’s side throughout her life:
Our dedicated staff members were there when she was born and took her first steps. They were there as she grew into a sweet and friendly giraffe who brought so much joy and inspiration to countless guests over the years. Her keepers watched as she became our herd’s matriarch and expertly cared for eight offspring, most recently—and surprisingly—Dobby. They witnessed her transition into old age and they were there to provide comfort as she peacefully passed.
The staff will closely monitor the other giraffes who might be impacted by Kipele’s death.
Rest in peace Kipele.