Jackson Zoo mourns loss of one of oldest giraffes in country - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson Zoo mourns loss of one of oldest giraffes in country

Source: Jackson Zoo Source: Jackson Zoo
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - The Jackson Zoo's reticulated giraffe, Diamond, passed away at 28-years-old, and was one of the oldest giraffe's living in the United States.

Diamond was born Jan. 1, 1986 at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado. She arrived at the Jackson Zoo on Oct. 9, 1992 and has lived a life well lived for almost 29 years. She has mothered eight calves during her life and three of them are believed to still be living.  

Zoo staff had been monitoring Diamond's health for several months. She experienced severe cases of arthritis and complications due to advanced age. Animal care staff attempted to make her as comfortable as possible by giving her medications to ease the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. As her condition worsened and she was unable to stand or consume any meals, staff made the difficult decision to euthanize the 28-year-old reticulated giraffe.

The average lifespan of a giraffe living in captivity is around 20-25 years old. The oldest recorded living giraffe passed away at 33-years-old in 2007. Diamond was previously expected to celebrate her 29th birthday, which would have fallen on New Year's Day 2015.

The Zoo's adult male reticulated giraffe, Casper, recently celebrated his 11th birthday and appears to be doing well. The zoo hopes to welcome a new female reticulated giraffe in 2015, as a mate for Casper.  

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