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Giraffe at Sedgwick County Zoo dies

The 26-year-old reticulated giraffe was euthanized at the Sedgwick County Zoo on July 20.
The 26-year-old reticulated giraffe was euthanized at the Sedgwick County Zoo on July 20.(Lou Alexander)
Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 12:19 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Sedgwick County Zoo announced the death of one of its giraffes on Tuesday.

The said Twiga, a 26-year-old reticulated giraffe, had developed chronic ailments such as osteoarthritis of the feet and legs, hoof issues, and a decline in body condition. These issues are quite common in giraffes of advanced age.

The average life expectancy for giraffes in zoo populations is 19 years.

Twiga was on a special diet to help her maintain body weight, and she was on daily medication for arthritis over the past few years.

“Many alternative therapies had been tested for arthritis treatment, but animal care staff found it increasingly difficult to keep her comfortable. As is the case in other aging animals, euthanasia eventually becomes the clear choice when all other treatment options have been explored and proven ineffective,” said the zoo.

The decision was made to humanely euthanize Twiga yesterday, July 20, according to the zoo. She was born in 1994 at Sedgwick County Zoo and had five calves, all contributing to the survival of her species.

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