Beloved giraffe at Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo dies

Zahra with her daughter, Kita (Photo courtesy of the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo announced Wednesday that one of its beloved giraffes has died.

The zoo says Zahra passed away last Thursday after being under veterinary care since June 21.

“Zahra first seemed to have a mild lameness in mid-June and later showed decreased appetite,” said Dr. Kami Fox, Staff Veterinarian. “Because of the excellent animal training from our Animal Care Team, we were able to obtain blood samples during her illness for diagnostics and to monitor her response to treatment. Despite the weeks of supportive care and diet supplementation, she developed digestive issues, causing a life-threatening condition and her ultimate death.”

According to officials, Zahra was born at the zoo on Oct. 17, 2009 and was the mother of Kita, a giraffe born last August.

“She was an important member of our herd, and her offspring marked three generations of giraffe here at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo,” said the zoo in a Facebook post. “Zahra was loved by all, and her loss is felt deeply.”