Zoo’s oldest giraffe, Dottie, euthanized after unable to stand on own

Officials at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo report their oldest giraffe had to be euthanized. (Source: WOWT)
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 9:52 PM MDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT/Gray News) - An Omaha zoo announced its oldest giraffe had to be euthanized last month.

Dottie, a female giraffe, died May 31. She was 22 years, 8 months, and 19 days old, according to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

WOWT reports Dottie was unable to get up after she was found by staff in the giraffe barn lying down on her side.

Medical staff at the zoo said they decided to humanely euthanize the 22-year-old giraffe due to her current health conditions, including her not being able to stand.

Dottie called the Omaha zoo home for her entire life. She was born on Sept. 13, 1999, and was a mother to three calves. The zoo said the average life expectancy for a female giraffe is about 20 years and about 14 years for a male.

Since 2019, Dottie was under medical care for osteoarthritis resulting in overgrown hooves and was closely monitored.

“After spending her entire life in Omaha, Dottie was seen by millions of zoo visitors and was an ambassador for conservation. She will be greatly missed by our zoo family and the Omaha community,” said Dan Cassidy, vice president of animal management for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

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