Blank Park Zoo Euthanizes Elderly Giraffe “Zuri,” due to Failing Health

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Officials at The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines say one of its elderly giraffes has been euthanized after suffering deteriorating health.

The zoo said in a news release that 21-year-old Zuri was put down.  The female giraffe was born in captivity at Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City, Kansas, in August 1997. In May 1998, she was moved to Blank Park.

Veterinarians and keepers at the zoo had been successfully treating some of Zuri’s conditions for years with laser and stem cell therapy and a special shoe she wore.

According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a female giraffe has a median life expectancy of about 19 years.

Four other giraffes remain at the zoo.