Waco, Texas - Cameron Park Zoo is deeply saddened to announce the death of Jeffrey, a 21 year old Reticulated giraffe, who died Friday, July 12, 2013 at 5:50 am. Jeffrey was under veterinary care for arthritis due to his advanced age. The exact cause of death is pending the completion of the necropsy (animal autopsy).
Jeffrey arrived at Cameron Park Zoo just prior to the zoo’s opening in 1993 and he has been a favorite of staff and guests alike. Jeffrey lived a long and prolific life, siring 7 offspring during his lifetime. The average lifespan of Reticulated giraffes is 20-25 years old, but some have been recorded to have lived up to 30 years.
Geriatric care of animals is an increasing emphasis at Cameron Park Zoo, because many of the animals at the zoo have lived here since the zoo opened and are reaching the end of their lifespan. Although, we understand that no animal lives forever and the increasing age of the animals in the collection means we will eventually have to say goodbye, it is still very difficult and all of us at Cameron Park Zoo are mourning Jeffrey’s passing.
Since giraffes are herd animals, and Jenny has been with Jeffrey since she was a youngster, zookeepers will be especially focused on her needs and providing her with additional enrichment. Zoo officials are working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Giraffe Species Survival Program to procure another pair of giraffes as companions for Jenny.