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Reid Park Zoo's giraffe Denver euthanized at age 32

Posted at 11:25 AM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 14:25:13-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A Reid Park Zoo giraffe named Denver was euthanized at age 32.

According to the zoo's blog, Denver was put to death because of her declining quality of life. She was the zoo's oldest giraffe ever and outlived her median life expectancy of 20 years.

“Losing Denver is much bigger than her herd saying goodbye. Our three remaining giraffes will miss her, but her passing is profoundly sad for all of her human fans as well. She touched so many staff over the years as a gentle and curious giraffe. Denver was always the first giraffe in line to interact with her care team and to spy on whatever her zookeepers were doing. She connected with our guests year after year in giraffe feeding encounters. Some children grew up feeding her on every trip to the Zoo. She will be greatly missed by all,” said Dr. Sue Tygielski, Director of Zoo Operations, in the blog post.

Three giraffes remain at the zoo: 10-year-old Jasiri, 3-year-old Penelope and 2-year-old Sota. After the euthanization, the other giraffes had the opportunity to say goodbye.

“Denver was an incredible ambassador for her species and will be deeply missed at the Zoo,” said Nancy Kluge, Reid Park Zoological Society’s President & CEO, in the blog post. “Over the years she inspired millions of people to connect with nature and to care about giraffes as a species, and she brought the Zoo staff joy every day.”