The Nashville Zoo mourns the loss of their 16-years-old male Masai Giraffe. He passed away during a medical treatment for his hoof abnormality on Thursday.
Congo, the giraffe, was under treatment for a condition that had affected his mobility for years. Anesthesia complications occurred during the procedure which Congo couldn’t bear. This has been declared as the cause of his demise.
The Zoo broke the news on Twitter on Friday night. They posted, “We are heartbroken to share that our beloved male Masai giraffe, Congo, passed away yesterday”.
The giraffe was brought to the Zoo from Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. According to the Zoo authorities, “Congo had been with them since they opened the giraffe exhibit in 2006”. The Zoo authorities adopted Congo after he was rejected by his mother. Since then, the Zoo has been his only support and was raised by keepers. Additionally, the authorities said, “he had fathered five calves and impacted millions of guests”.
Congo became popular among sports fans when he predicted winners of the Super Bowl. He has been doing this for the past half a decade. This turned him into an internet sensation.
The keepers of the zoo had great love for Congo for his goofiness and urge to know about everything.
The Masai subspecies of giraffes has been declared ‘endangered’ by IUCN in 2019. According to them, “35,000 Masai giraffes are remaining” in the world, “but their population has fallen by nearly 50% in the last three decades”. Poaching and changes in land use are the causes of decline in their population.
Since then, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation has taken it in its hands to work for the protection of these giraffes. They are in collaboration with governments around the world which house these giraffes in the wild or in zoos.
The Nashville Zoo President and CEO Rick Schwartz stated, “Everyone here at the Zoo, especially our dedicated hoofstock keepers, is devastated to lose such a wonderful animal”.
Congo’s favorite snacks included romaine lettuce and honey locust seed pods.
He is the second giraffe who passed away at the Nashville Zoo this year. Let us hope this species doesn’t face any more loses.