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Two giraffes died at Baton Rouge Zoo Saturday

6 years 3 months 2 weeks ago Saturday, March 19 2016 Mar 19, 2016 March 19, 2016 7:08 PM March 19, 2016 in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Kevin Dupuy

The story below is from 2016.  In November 2019, the post became a trending item in the Baton Rouge area.  It is not a current report on the zoo.   

BATON ROUGE – The Baton Rouge Zoo says two female giraffes died Saturday morning.

BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo says a 24-year-old giraffe named Hope, was being treated for a recurring front leg problem for the past eight years. Veterinarians gave Hope more treatment Tuesday after she began to limp on a rear leg. Friday, Keepers moved Hope to an isolated stall in the zoo's barn because she was unable to stand.

With severe weather moving over the area Friday, zookeepers moved other giraffes into the barn for the night. To keep Hope in an isolated stall, keepers moved the 30-year-old female giraffe, Mopani, into a stall with a male giraffe, Roan.

Keepers say Roan became immediately aggressive and knocked Mopani down. The two giraffes had shared the same stall before without an incident.

The Baton Rouge Zoo reports that Mopani died from her injuries Saturday at 2 am. Zoo veterinarians also made the decision to euthanize Hope because her condition had worsened.

“This is an extremely sad event for all of us,” Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Gordon Pirie said. “The death of any animal is difficult, but those two in one day is devastating.”

Director Phil Frost asked the Association of Zoo and Aquariums to perform an audit on the incident.

“While I am confident our staff did everything they could do to professionally care for our aging giraffes, if the audit can help us learn anything from this most unfortunate incident, at least something good might result,” Frost said.

According to the Baton Rouge Zoo, the average lifespan for giraffes is 19.5 years. 

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