The Northeastern Wisconsin Zoo suffered the devastating loss of beloved giraffe Hodari on Sunday August 25th. Hodari passed away yesterday after a brief illness. He had been under treatment for a gastrointestinal issue that progressed rapidly over the weekend. Although the Zoo Veterinarian and staff attended him during his final hours, he could not be saved. He died peacefully on Sunday around noon. Female giraffe Zuri was nearby and appears to be dealing well with her loss. A necropsy was performed immediately and full results will be available in 3 to 4 weeks.
Hodari lived a healthy, happy life. At 15 years of age, he had been experiencing some signs of age-related issues. He was under treatment for arthritis for several years. Although the oldest male giraffe on record lived to be 30 years old, the median life expectancy for those who survive their first year of life is 13.4 years.
The Giraffe Feeding Experience will be closed on Monday, August 26th, to allow Zuri some time to adjust. Feedings will reopen tomorrow at regularly scheduled hours.
Hodari formed strong bonds with the staff and volunteers who worked with him regularly. He also had a talent for developing close relationships with the guests who visited him frequently. He will be greatly missed.