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Dallas Zoo announces 'tragic loss' of another giraffe, reveals cause of 3-month-old giraffe's death

The zoo said its 19-year-old giraffe named Auggie died over the weekend from "age-related health issues that led to liver failure."
Credit: Dallas Zoo/Facebook
Dallas Zoo's Auggie the giraffe

DALLAS — The Dallas Zoo on Monday announced the death of its second giraffe this month, along with the cause of death for 3-month-old Marekani.

The zoo said its 19-year-old giraffe named Auggie died over the weekend from "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," the zoo said in a Facebook post.

Auggie is the second giraffe death for the zoo this month after 3-month-old Marekani had to be euthanized on Sunday, Oct. 3. In the Facebook post, the zoo revealed how Marekani suffered a fatal injury.

According to the zoo, the 3-month-old and other adult giraffes were running on an inclined section of their habitat when one of the calf's legs hyperextended when it planted at the top of the incline.

Zoo officials said they believe one of the adult giraffes didn't stop fast enough and collided with Marekani, causing the calf to suffer a fracture to her radius and ulna.

According to the zoo's statement on Oct. 5, officials noticed the 3-month-old was walking with a limp, leading to evaluations by a veterinary team.

The evaluation revealed that Marekani's injuries would lead to "long-term orthopedic deformities, lifelong pain, and arthritis" and that there was "no hope for recovery," according to the zoo.

The veterinary team decided to "humanely euthanize" the giraffe calf.

"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," the zoo said in its latest Facebook post.

"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.