Giraffe dies at Reid Park Zoo following respiratory problems

Giraffe dies at Reid Park Zoo following respiratory problems
Elinor, a 20-year-old giraffe, died one day after showing signs of respiratory distress. (Source: Reid Park Zoo)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Elinor, a 20-year-old giraffe, has died at the Reid Park Zoo.

The zoo, which made the announcement Tuesday, Sept. 3, said Elinor was born at the Knoxville Zoological Gardens on May 29, 1999.

She was transferred to the Reid Park Zoo in 2010, when she was 11 years old.

The zoo said Elinor died Monday, Sept. 2, one day after showing signs of respiratory distress.

“(Our) veterinary team responded with medical treatment immediately but, sadly, Elinor passed away,” the zoo said in a news release. "Elinor has not had a history of breathing problems. Her necropsy at the University of Arizona Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory will reveal more. It will take several weeks to get all the results back."

The median life expectancy of giraffes is 19 years, according to the Reid Park Zoo.

Elinor lived with two other giraffes -- Jasiri, an 8-year-old male, and Denver, a 30-year-old female. Denver is the second-oldest giraffe in the United States.

“Elinor was a beloved member of Reid Park Zoo,” the zoo said. “Our thoughts are with everyone who loved Elinor, particularly her keepers and those who visited her at the giraffe feeding platform, who are sure to feel her loss deeply.”

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