© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Buffalo Zoo giraffe dies

Jennie, an 18-year-old female giraffe
Photo provided by Buffalo Zoo
Jennie, an 18-year-old female giraffe

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Zoo lost one of its giraffes. Jennie, an 18-year-old female giraffe was euthanized on Thursday after she failed to recover from anesthesia during a scheduled hoof trimming procedure.

The Zoo says for the past several years, it has become necessary for the Zoo's veterinary staff, with assistance from experienced anesthesiologists from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, to treat Jennie for the overgrowth of hoof material.

According to the Zoo, during the hoof trimming procedure, giraffes are anesthetized to prevent injury to themselves as well as staff. Zoo officials say giraffes in the wild and captivity face this hoof problem as they age. Jennie was considered to be an older animal since the average lifespan for giraffes is 20-25 years.

The initial necropsy findings were inconclusive regarding any specific factors that contributed to her inability to recover from anesthesia. Changes in her kidney and liver associated with aging were evident. Samples are being sent to several diagnostic laboratories for further testing. Final necropsy results will not be available for several weeks.

Jennie was born at the Buffalo Zoo on July 21, 1992.

The Zoo says Jennie was popular with Zoo personnel and will be greatly missed.

But despite the loss, the Buffalo Zoo Giraffe House is OPEN to the public. Weather permitting, visitors can also view the other members of the giraffe herd in their exhibit yard. The herd consists of females Agnes and A.J., and male, Kasamba.

The Buffalo Zoo has had its share of animal deaths in the past few years.

In September of 2009, a popular elephant died, followed a month later by the death of a 13-year-old female giraffe.

Last year a sea lion also passed away and just last month the Zoo lost a long-time member of its gorilla family.