Two Giraffe Half-Siblings Die Within a Week at Milwaukee Zoo
The Wisconsin zoo's giraffe herd has lost two members, half-siblings Baha and Rahna
The Milwaukee County Zoo's giraffe herd has experienced two significant losses in just one week.
Days after the unexpected death of 17-year-old giraffe Bahatika on March 22, the zoo revealed on Wednesday that a second giraffe, Rahna, was humanely euthanized on March 29.
Rahna, who was being monitored for "age-related health issues," died at age 30, over 27 years after she arrived at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
Rahna, a female giraffe, was known at the zoo as the white or "blond" giraffe, given the white hair on her face. The giraffe was a mother of one. She gave birth to a female calf named Skye nearly 25 years ago.
Zookeepers described the giraffe as smart and observant but also stubborn and opinionated at times. She was also known for her "personality," having grown from a "sassy" young giraffe into a mellow adult.
Related:Milwaukee Zoo Giraffe Gives Birth to Calf in Front of Guests After Labor Progresses Quickly
"This is another incredibly difficult loss for the zoo's animal care team, and Rahna will be remembered with much love and affection," the Milwaukee County Zoo shared.
Her death comes just days after that of her half-brother Bahatika (Baha), who arrived from Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in 2006. Rahna notably took on an "auntie" role when it came to Baha's children.
Related:The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's New Baby Giraffe Is Already Up on Her Hooves and Greeting Guests
Baha, born at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs in 2006, fathered four male calves with giraffe Ziggy and fathered three female calves with giraffe Marlee.
The male giraffe was the largest of the Milwaukee County Zoo's herd and was known to occasionally move other giraffes out of the way for more treats and attention during public feedings.
"Zookeepers who worked directly with Baha over the years comment that they will miss his friendly face and presence in the Giraffe Barn," the zoo shared. "His memory lives on in his many offspring (seven calves at MCZ), three of whom are still here – Maya, Poppy, and Asante."
Following Rahna's death, the zoo's Giraffe Building was closed on Wednesday so staff had time to "grieve and give their necessary attention to the other giraffes in the herd."
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Back in August, Baha and Ziggy welcomed a new calf, which marked the first time a giraffe had been born outdoors at the zoo since the 1990s. The little one, who entered the world by falling several feet to the ground, was standing on his own just 45 minutes after his birth.
"He's strong, spunky, and curious about his surroundings," the zoo's animal care team added on social media.
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