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Report concludes BREC Zoo not at fault in death of giraffes

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BATON ROUGE - Inspectors from the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums have concluded that BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo was not at fault in the death of a pair of elderly giraffes earlier this year.

The full results of the site inspection report, requested by the Zoo, were released on Thursday.

The site survey included a formal review of the circumstances surrounding the death of two of the Zoo’s elderly giraffes in April.

The reports conclusion includes the following statement:

“After careful review of a number of cascading circumstances that resulted in the death of two adult female giraffes, it is my professional opinion that the Baton Rouge Zoo staff responded as an experienced and knowledgeable team faced with a challenging circumstance for the Baton Rouge Zoo’s giraffe herd of four animals. I commend the Baton Rouge Zoo for the long-term care of these individual animals that resulted in their longevity. Their difficult decision to humanely alleviate the suffering of Mopani and Hope was a sound professional decision, in line with standard animal welfare practice. In my investigation, I found no fault with the difficult decisions that were made under a set of unfortunate circumstances that resulted in the death of two geriatric female giraffes.”

The investigation was carried out last month by staff and veterinarians with the AZA. It included the review of staff incident reports, vet medical records and pathology reports.

“We were very pleased to hear our peers echo what we have believed all along,” said Phil Frost, Zoo Director. “We provide the best care possible to all of our animals, every day, using the same animal welfare standards and practices that are used at all 230 accredited zoos and aquariums across the country. Hope and Mopani were treated no different, and while it was a very hard loss for all of us, I remain extremely proud of our staff for the quality of care they were able to provide for both of them.”

The full report is available at www.brzoo.org.


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