Hogle Zoo Giraffe, Kipenzi, Dies At 15 Years Old

Jul 15, 2019, 12:47 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Hogle Zoo said goodbye to one of its giraffes, 15-year-old Kipenzi, who lived at the zoo for the majority of her life.

“She was so much more than a giraffe,” said Holly Peterson, who cared for “Kip” for 14 years. “She was my friend, my co-worker and part of my family. She taught me so much and brought so many amazing people into my life. She was also a calm influence on new giraffes, like Minka, and taught them it’s OK to trust us.”

Kipenzi was humanely euthanized July 12 after showing signs of gastrointestinal dysfunction, according to a statement from Hogle Zoo.

Officials said Kip had gastric ulcers and areas of bloating and redness in her intestine, which appeared to have shut down. Doctors’ extensive efforts included multiple medications and procedures, but the giraffe did not recover.

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In addition to the GI issues, Kip was also dealing with foot issues. Her right rear foot was deformed from a years-old injury.

“Kip’s GI problem was unforeseen,” said associate veterinarian Dr. Erika Crook. “We’d been working with Kip daily trying to resolve her foot problem.”

“She actively and willingly participated in her medical care every step of the way,” Crook added. “She allowed us to touch her, to look at her foot and to treat her. She did that because of her relationship with her keepers and through positive reinforcement.”

Kipenzie came to Hogle Zoo in 2005 from Brookfield Zoo in Chicago.

WATCH: Kip Gets Stem Cell Treatment To Help Injured Foot


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Hogle Zoo Giraffe, Kipenzi, Dies At 15 Years Old