Oldest giraffe at Atlanta’s zoo dies after sharp decline

October 16, 2021 GMT

ATLANTA (AP) — The oldest giraffe at Atlanta’s zoo has died after a sharp decline in health.

Zoo Atlanta said in a news release that its veterinarians had been monitoring 16-year-old Abu for several days and he had a poor prognosis. With concerns about his quality of life, they decided to euthanize him Friday.

“This is a very sad day for Zoo Atlanta. Abu was very special to so many, both within the zoo team and among our members and guests,” senior director of animal health Sam Rivera said. “Our animal care and veterinary teams have worked tirelessly in their efforts to care for Abu, always with his well-being foremost in our minds, and pursued every option available to us in terms of his treatment.”

Abu had arthritis and underwent a number of innovative treatments in recent years, the release said.

He arrived at Zoo Atlanta in 2007. He fathered two calves — one in 2010, which was the first giraffe born at the zoo, and another in 2011.

Zoo Atlanta has two remaining giraffes, Etana and Isooba, both 10-year-old males.