Staff and volunteers were saddened when Sukari, the elderly female giraffe on our African Savanna exhibit, had to be euthanized due to declining health because of age. At 25, she was extremely geriatric (giraffes in the wild usually live to be 10-15 years). Our expert Exhibits crew helped make her passing more comfortable by rigging a special platform for her to lay in. She had also had a custom-made waterbed for the last four years for her to lie down on. Keepers and the Animal Health team have been instrumental over the last few years to keep Sukari as comfortable as possible during her "golden years." Anyone with an old dog or cat knows how difficult it can be to care for an aging animal; just image when that animal is 18-feet tall!
For zoo guests who grew up and remember visiting Sukari over the last 25 years, we've created a commemorative portrait, taken by our talented volunteer photographer Dennis Dow, available for purchase online through Pictopia. You can order by going to the following site: http://pictopia.com/perl/gal?provider_id=543 Proceeds go toward animal care here at the zoo. (Photo by Dennis Dow)