Zoo mourns death of 19-year-old giraffe

Staff at a Hampshire zoo are mourning the death of a 19-year-old “greedy and confident” giraffe which died under anaesthetic while being treated for animal disease.

Makeda, who was born at Marwell Zoo, near Winchester, had spent her whole life with the centre’s herd.

But vets at the zoo had been treating the giraffe for dental disease for a number of months and she died while being treated on Wednesday.

A Marwell spokeswoman said: “It is with deep sadness that Marwell Wildlife announces the death of 19-year-old giraffe Makeda yesterday.

“The zoo’s veterinary team had been treating Makeda for serious dental disease for a number of months but the medication stopped working and the condition could not be left untreated.

“Sadly, anaesthetising animals always carries a risk and is particularly difficult with giraffes due to their size.

“The procedure was a very challenging one and the zoo’s Veterinary and Hoofstock teams had anaesthetised Makeda to carry out the dental treatment, which went well.

“However, sadly she did not recover from the anaesthetic despite the very best efforts of the zoo teams.”

Marwell Zoo’s Hoofstock Team said in a statement: “The team is deeply saddened by the loss of one of our giraffes, Makeda.

“She was such an inquisitive character, with a keenness to be involved with everything, and made up an important part of our herd.

“Makeda did incredibly well when training with her keepers, thanks to her willingness to learn, and her love of food.

“She was greedy and confident, knowing exactly what she wanted, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. She will be greatly missed by us all.”