Des Moines zoo euthanizes elderly giraffe Zuri

Photo of Zuri from Blank Park Zoo's Facebook page

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials at a zoo in Des Moines say one of its elderly giraffes has been euthanized after suffering deteriorating health.

The Blank Park Zoo said in a news release Thursday that 21-year-old Zuri was euthanized. 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 Zoo in Des Moines.

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.

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