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Mesker Park Zoo announces loss of adult female giraffe “Kiah”

Giraffes have long been a mainstay at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden. They were first introduced in the early 1980’s. The Zoo’s remaining giraffe Clementine (3) currently occupies the habitat.

Wednesday, Oct. 14 our oldest female Giraffe Kiah (29) underwent a scheduled medical procedure which required her to be sedated with the use of
anesthetics. This procedure, while dangerous for an animal her size and age, is necessary to assess her quality of life and current medical conditions. Our highly- trained veterinarian staff, upon assessing Kiah’s geriatric ailments, ultimately decided not to wake her up from her anesthetics and instead opted for euthanasia. Euthanasia is the humane and painless ending of life for an animal that is no longer capable of
normal day to day activity and is common for older animals with geriatric conditions.

Kiah, at 29 years of age, lived a long and happy life here at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden—well past the median life expectancy of 20 years
for a Giraffe in human care.

Currently, giraffes are facing a “silent extinction” with their numbers plummeting with little to no notice by the general public. Giraffe populations in Africa continue to decline. In the last 15 years populations have dropped by nearly 33%. The primary threats to their population include but are not limited to, habitat loss due to deforestation, civil unrest and military operations, illegal hunting and poaching, and ecological changes
due to excessive mining activity and climate-induced processes. For more information on how you can benefit organizations like the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and wild Giraffe populations, visit

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