A 29-year-old giraffe at Evansville’s Mesker Park Zoo has died. The zoo announced on social media that Kiah, a reticulated giraffe, died on Wednesday.
It says 29 is well past life expectancy for giraffes in human care.
The Evansville Courier & Press reports Kiah had “age-related difficulties that were severely affecting her quality of life,” leading zoo officials to decide to euthanize her. Kiah’s long-time companion and fellow giraffe Kizzie died unexpectedly in February at age 19.
Mesker Park has one giraffe remaining, 3-year-old Clementine, who lives in a habitat with two zebras as company.
The zoo posted this message on their Facebook page after the death of Kiah on Wednesday.
"Today our hearts are grieved as we mourn the passing of our oldest Giraffe Kiah. At 29 years of age, Kiah had lived a long and happy life here at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden—well past the median life expectancy of 20 for a female giraffe in human care. As result, she was humanely euthanized due to age-related difficulties that were severely affecting her quality of life.
We ask that our community help us in honoring Kiah's memory with pictures and memories you have collected through the years. And we do this because just as she has had a tremendous impact on us who have worked so closely with her we know she, too, has impacted our wonderful visitors, donors, and members.
Giraffe's have been a part of Mesker Park Zoo's family for decades and will continue to be a staple for years to come. Currently Clementine (3) occupies the habitat with our two Grant's Zebras."