THE world’s oldest giraffe has died at an Australian zoo aged 31.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo in New South Wales announced the devastating news on Friday just weeks after Mutangi had turned 31.
Mutangi with one of her calves in 2003[/caption]
She was the oldest giraffe in captivity in the world[/caption]
The great-grandmum was the first giraffe calf to be born at the zoo in 1990.
Since then she has given birth to 14 calves and has a total of 61 descendants.
Two of Mutangi’s daughters still live with her at Taronga zoo while her other calves were sent to other enclosures around Australia and New Zealand.
Before she passed away, keeper Bobby-Jo Vial described Mutangi as having “a lot of character.
“She’s quite cheeky and she’s always up for a challenge.”
Taronga zoo posted a tribute to Mutangi on their website saying she “inspired thousands of guests through Giraffe encounters as well as numerous dignitaries and VIPs who visited the Zoo.”
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The zoo added that mutangi leaves behind an “amazing legacy”.
In June, on World Giraffe Day, keeper Bobby-Jo said it was “a privilege” to work with Mutangi and that she was her favourite to be with.
“We have a good relationship,” she said.
“It’s a transactional relationship, so it’s based on food, but trust as well.
“Being a herd animal it takes a long time to earn a giraffe’s trust.”
The life expectancy for giraffe’s in the wild is approximately 25 years but can be higher for animals in captivity.
In November, Jimmie the giraffe passed away at a US zoo in Maryland aged 26.
Jimmie was “humanely euthanised” at the Plumpton Park Zoo after experiencing “constant discomfort” in his leg and hoof.
“Unfortunately, his hoof and leg conditions had progressed to where he was experiencing constant discomfort,” the zoo said in a press release.
“In the last few months, the zoo has consulted five different veterinarians, including some of the leading zoo veterinarians across the United States, Africa, and Canada,” the zoo added.
“All of the veterinarians had reached the same conclusion, that it was time to euthanize Jimmie and end the progression of his increasing discomfort.”