ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A New York zoo’s only adult male Masai giraffe died after getting stuck in the support structure of a giraffe enclosure gate, the zoo announced.
In a statement released Monday, officials at the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester said 6-year-old Parker was unresponsive when found in the gate structure Sunday. Zoo veterinary staff were summoned immediately but were unable to save him.
“The possibility of this kind of event happening was unforeseen and unprecedented,” Steve Lacy, zoo superintendent, said in the statement. “The gate structure, installed in 2018, is a standard giraffe enclosure feature and is used in a number of accredited zoos around the country.”
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What happened to the giraffe?
Zoo officials said Parker’s neck got caught in the structure and fractured when he tried to free himself.
There have been no reports of other such incidents at zoos with similar gate structures, according to the Seneca Park Zoo, which is making modifications “to prevent any possibility of a reoccurrence” and has notified the manufacturer about the potential hazard.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums also have been notified, and the zoo is working with the agencies.
Parker arrived at Seneca Park Zoo from the Santa Barbara Zoo in 2018. He was paired with female Masai giraffes Kipenzi and Iggy, and was father to Olmsted, or Olmy, born to Iggy April 29, 2022.
Zoo’s second giraffe death in less than a year
The zoo’s three surviving giraffes are being monitored closely, said zoo Veterinarian Chris McKinney, because “any major event can certainly affect them.”
Parker is the second giraffe to die at the zoo in a little over than six months. His other offspring, a male giraffe born to Kipenzi July 12, 2022, was euthanized at three weeks old after multiple interventions to correct a congenital abnormality of his left front fetlock joint failed.
Follow reporter Marcia Greenwood on Twitter @MarciaGreenwood.
Story Credit: usatoday.com