New York – Staff at the Seneca Park Zoo is mourning the tragic death of a six-year-old Masai giraffe named Parker, who died on Sunday after getting his head stuck in a gate. In a news release, the zoo said that Parker got, “caught in a support structure for the giraffe
News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke asked zoo director Steve Lacy what might have happened to cause this tragic incident. He told her, “We’re going to go back and look at all of the stalls with a fresh set of eyes after this occurrence. Parker was about three feet taller than the rest of the animals that we have here and that height is what led him to access this hazardous situation.”
In the zoo’s news release, Lacy said that this type of gate is standard at zoos:
“The gate structure, installed in 2018, is a standard giraffe enclosure feature and is used in a number of accredited zoos around the country.”
Officials who reviewed the video footage that captured Parker’s death noted that he snapped his neck within 30 seconds of getting stuck while trying to dislodge his head from the gate. It does not appear that he suffered.
Seneca Park Zoo Veterinarian Chris McKinney commented on Parker’s death:
“Parker will be sorely missed by all. He had been in excellent health prior to this and was a joy to both staff and visitors. Our priority is the health and wellbeing of our animals and any major event can certainly affect them. So far, all three giraffes, Iggy, Kipenzie, and Olmsted, are doing well. We will continue to monitor them closely in the coming days.”
Parker came to the Seneca Park zoo from the Santa Barbara Zoo in 2018. He was known for his curiosity and playfulness.
Rest in peace Parker.
(Feature photo is a stock image of a giraffe via Pixabay)
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