SALT LAKE CITY–It was a very sad day for those at Utah’s Hogle Zoo: the zoo’s beloved Daphne the giraffe passed away at age 31.
Daphne was something of an anomaly: the average lifespan for giraffes is just 15, but Daphne survived into her third decade of life! She was the oldest giraffe in North America, according to the zoo’s Facebook page.
The zoo says that veterinarians made the difficult decision to euthanize her humanely after she was found lying down, which is unusual for her.
“We’d been monitoring her for a few months and, as is often the case with animals, they let you know when it’s time,” said Dr. Erika Crook, and associate veterinarian at the zoo.
Daphne only recently celebrated her 31st birthday, but was loved and cared for during her time at Hogle. She arrived at the zoo way back in 1985, and has given birth several times.
The zoo is honoring Daphne’s memory by donating 100 percent of proceeds from giraffe feeding experiences to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.
The zoo has four giraffes remaining: Kip, Pogo, Riley and Willow. Riley is a male, and Willow is a baby who arrived in January.