Dallas Zoo

Dallas Zoo Announces Death of Adult Giraffe, Shares Update on Earlier Calf Death

Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo is dealing with another tragic loss within its giraffe herd.

Auggie, a 19-year-old male, passed away over the weekend. Zoo officials said Auggie had been dealing with age-related health issues that led to liver failure.

The Dallas Zoo said in a Facebook update that Auggie was "affectionately known as “Uncle Auggie” because of how sweet and gentle he always was with new calves."

On Monday, zoo leaders also announced additional information about the recent death of a giraffe calf after suffering a leg injury they called "catastrophic."

"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 goes on to say "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. We will be adding substrate material in areas that showed some erosion, and we also will be installing cameras around the habitat. Cameras would not have prevented this incident, but this will be a valuable tool for monitoring animal interactions and behavior."

The final line of the Facebook post from the zoo adds, "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."