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Sunday, January 23, 2022
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Tallest Giraffe in Dallas Zoo Dies, Third Death in October


Giraffes at the Dallas Zoo walking around. | Image by Liesbeth Powers

Another giraffe at the Dallas Zoo died on October 29. This time, it was the tallest giraffe in the zoo, Jesse. A zoo official confirmed Jesse’s death on Friday.

Jesse, a 14-years-old male, was the third giraffe to die at Dallas Zoo in October, following Auggie, who died just a week earlier, and Marekana, who died earlier in the month.

According to zoo officials, Jesse battled with symptoms like Auggie and, with quick deterioration, died in less than a week. The zoo said he dealt with age-related issues that caused his liver to fail.

The official who announced Jesse’s death addressed concerns over a possible connection in the recent giraffe deaths at the zoo lately. The official said that the zoo is working on establishing an exact cause or identifying a possible link between the two deaths.

“We are working with outside experts to actively investigate a range of possible causes and working diligently to eliminate possibilities,” the official said. “We are awaiting final necropsy findings and significant additional lab work for both Jesse and Auggie to help us determine what we are dealing with so we know how to address the issue.”

When Marekani died earlier this month after being euthanized due to a fatal bone fracture in her leg, the zoo investigated the cause of her injury. The zoo found that Marekani had one of her front legs planted in the ground at the top of an incline when she and a few adult giraffes were running along an inclined section of the habitat. This mishap caused her leg to be hyperextended, causing intense pain for her.

“Our most immediate concern is to do everything possible to isolate these tragic events and protect the other animals entrusted in our care,” the zoo said in response to the injury. The zoo also announced that there are now preventative measures across the zoo’s animal teams to minimize risks from food sources and other environmental exposures.

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