Dallas Zoo (2)
October has been a challenging month for the Dallas Zoo.
On October 3, the Texas zoo made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize their 3-month-old giraffe Marekani after the young animal sustained a "catastrophic" injury. Now, the zoo is saying goodbye to another member of their giraffe herd.
On Monday, the zoo posted on Facebook that their 19-year-old giraffe Auggie "passed away this weekend after dealing with age-related health issues that led to liver failure."
"Affectionately known as 'Uncle Auggie' because of how sweet and gentle he always was with new calves, he will be missed by all of us. Death is an inevitable part of zoo life, but we believe sharing these stories — both the good and the sad — helps you stay connected to the animals you know and love," the Dallas Zoo added.
The facility also used their Monday Facebook post to expand on the events that led to Marekani's death — since it wasn't immediately clear what caused the animal's injury when it happened.
"Our findings show that Marekani and a few of the adult giraffes were running along an inclined section of the habitat when one of her front legs planted in the ground at the top of the incline, causing her leg to hyperextend. We believe one of the adult giraffes was then unable to stop fast enough, colliding with Marekani from behind — the impact of which caused fractures to her radius and ulna," the zoo shared of what their internal review of the baby giraffe's injury revealed.
"The Dallas Zoo provides the most naturalistic environments possible for our animals, which has so many benefits for both their physical and mental well-being. Unfortunately, those natural surroundings have inherent risks, just as they do in the wild, where giraffes have a 50% mortality rate in their first year of life. While the Giants of the Savanna habitat cannot be made accident-proof, we, alongside giraffe experts in the AZA, have closely evaluated the situation and have identified some changes we will make to help mitigate risks and reduce the chances of future incidents like this," the zoo added.
In response to their findings, the Dallas Zoo will add "substrate material in areas that showed some erosion, and we also will be installing cameras around the habitat."
After losing two giraffes in several weeks, the zoo also expressed its appreciation for its thoughtful supporters.
"We appreciate everyone's patience as we've worked through our internal review process following Marekani's sudden passing earlier this month, as well as the outpouring of support you have shown for our Zoo family as we processed that loss," the Dallas Zoo wrote on Facebook.