CINCINNATI (November 17, 2019) – The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is sad to announce that beloved male giraffe Kimba passed away early this morning. The Zoo Volunteer Observer (ZVO) team has been monitoring the giraffe barn for weeks, watching a pregnant female for signs of labor, and called vets when they saw Kimba fall to the ground a little after 1 a.m..
“The giraffe team is devastated. He had been dealing with pain related to chronic lameness since last summer, and we were looking forward to him feeling better after he had a successful procedure last week to fix his hooves,” said Cincinnati Zoo’s curator of mammals Christina Gorsuch. “Unfortunately, there were complications following the procedure. We’ll know more after the vets complete a necropsy.”
Twelve-year-old Kimba sired six calves, and his seventh is on the way. He came to Cincinnati in 2008 from the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island, on a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP). One of his calves, three-year-old Cora, lives there now.
In 2018, giraffes were listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Giraffe populations are suffering from habitat loss, trophy hunting, illegal poaching and war-stricken habitat.