Giraffe’s sudden death shocks zoo staff

The North Carolina Zoo is mourning the sudden death of Fenn, a beloved 6-month-old giraffe, who passed away on Wednesday after a tragic incident. Fenn, born in May at the zoo, was a favorite among both staff and visitors before the unfortunate incident occurred.

Image showing Giraffe's sudden death shocks zoo staff

According to zoo officials, Fenn was startled by another giraffe, prompting him to run away and collide with a gate. The impact resulted in significant head and neck trauma, ultimately leading to the giraffe’s passing later in the day despite efforts from zoo veterinarians to provide care.

The zoo has offered grief counseling to its staff members who were left “shocked and devastated” by Fenn’s sudden and tragic death.

Fenn, standing 6 feet tall and weighing 145 pounds, captured the hearts of many since his birth on May 20. Named after Giraffe Conservation Foundation founders Julian and Stephanie Fennessy, Fenn’s moniker was chosen through an online vote, reflecting the affection the public held for him.

Describing Fenn as an “energetic and vibrant addition to the giraffe herd,” the zoo expressed the deep sadness felt by both staff and visitors. His playful antics and charming nature made him a cherished member of the zoo community, leaving behind fond memories for those who had the privilege of knowing him.

Giraffes typically live to around 25 years in the wild, but captivity can extend their lifespan. The Giraffe Conservation Foundation notes that over 50% of giraffe calves in some populations don’t survive their first year. During the initial 9-12 months of life, giraffes remain dependent on their nursing mothers.

As the North Carolina Zoo copes with the loss of Fenn, the incident serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by giraffes, both in the wild and in captivity.