giraffe featured

Giraffe | Jim, the Photographer | CC BY 2.0 

Giraffes are hella adorable, but ya know what’s not cute? When zoos keep giraffes confined to pitiful prisons. Giraffes belong in the wild, not in enclosures with many hazards that can cause these curious animals to become injured. Zoos like to claim that breeding giraffes helps to sustain the population, but the truth is that they breed babies to draw in large crowds to make mad $$. Even after they’ve grown, no captive giraffes have ever been released back into the wild—now that’s hella sad. 🙁

Here are just ten examples of zoos that were terrible to giraffes:

1. Workers were loading Hsiao Chiu, a 7-year-old male giraffe, onto a truck at the Taipei Zoo in Taiwan when he reportedly had a panic attack. The zoo had planned to transport him to a private zoo for mating purposes, likely because cute baby animals bring in more visitors and money. But he died of lung and heart failure before the truck even left. According to an examination of his body, Hsiao Chiu was suffering from pneumonia as well as anxiety after being shoved into a cage, which triggered breathing difficulties and muscle damage.

2. Amali died shortly after an X-ray procedure to determine the extent of a neck injury that she had sustained while in transit to the Tulsa Zoo, where she was to be used for breeding. A veterinarian said that the 5-year-old giraffe had broken a growth plate in her neck, resulting in damage to her vertebrae. An internal audit report by the city of Tulsa revealed that the trailer that brought Amali to Tulsa had bloody marks on the ceiling.

Giraffe neck injury | CC 

3. New Jersey’s Cape May County Park & Zoo sold two giraffes to an animal broker who then sold them to a traveling circus.

Giraffe at Cape May County Zoo

Giraffe at Cape May County Zoo | Kathryn Yengel | CC BY-ND 2.0 

4. The Copenhagen Zoo killed Marius, a young giraffe, and fed him to lions just because it considered him useless for breeding.

marius giraffe

Marius | Didde Elnif | CC BY-NC 2.0 

5. A giraffe died from strangulation when he became entangled in a pulley system at the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois.


Giraffe | Michael Pereckas | CC BY 2.0 

6. A 2-year-old giraffe died in a barn fire at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California.

Giraffe at Six Flags in Vallejo

DiscoveryKingdom11-099 | Trisha Fawver | CC BY-ND 2.0 

7. North Carolina’s Lazy 5 Ranch was written up for allowing giraffes to suffer from overgrown hooves. (It also previously allowed at least two giraffes to languish from the same potentially debilitating condition for more than a year!)

Lazy Ranch 5 Giraffe8.  A giraffe died at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium after the zoo’s chief veterinarian administered the wrong drug during surgery.

Giraffes Columbus Zoo

Giraffes at Columbus Zoo | Ron Bailey | CC BY 2.0 

9. Kipenzi—a giraffe who was only a few months old—died at the Dallas Zoo after she ran into the perimeter wall of her enclosure and broke her neck. Her death comes just a few months after her birth was live-streamed by Animal Planet.

HEARTBROKEN: We are devastated to share the tragic loss of our beloved giraffe calf, Kipenzi. This evening as the…

Posted by Dallas Zoo on Tuesday, July 28, 2015


10. A baby giraffe who was only 1 month old died at Fresno Chaffee Zoo’s new “African Adventure” exhibit in central California after running into a fence as zoo visitors looked on in horror. </3

Zoos should STOP breeding giraffes and retire those who are currently on display to accredited animal sanctuaries, where they could get the specialized care that they need. Every dollar spent at an establishment that breeds and displays captive exotic animals contributes to the animals’ miserable lives.

How You Can Help Giraffes

Zoos will be forced to stop breeding and capturing more animals from the wild if their financial support disappears. Be a hero to giraffes—boycott zoos and urge everyone you know to stay away from them, too. ♥

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