NewsNational NewsScripps News


Giraffe's sudden death shocks zoo staff

Fenn was born in May at the North Carolina Zoo and was beloved by staff and visitors before his passing on Wednesday.
Giraffe's sudden death shocks zoo staff
Posted at 10:18 AM, Dec 15, 2023

The North Carolina Zoo announced that a beloved giraffe died on Wednesday after becoming spooked by another giraffe. 

Fenn, a 6-month-old giraffe, was startled by another giraffe, ran away and crashed into a gate, causing Fenn to fall. Zoo officials said Fenn suffered significant head and neck trauma, causing the animal to die later in the day after receiving care from zoo veterinarians. 

The zoo is providing a grief counselor for staff members, whom the zoo said were "shocked and devastated by Fenn’s tragic death."

Fenn was born on May 20 standing 6 feet tall and weighing 145 pounds. He was given the name Fenn after 100,000 fans voted online in honor of Giraffe Conservation Foundation founders Julian and Stephanie Fennessy.

"Fenn was an energetic and vibrant addition to the giraffe herd (or tower) and quickly became a cherished member of the Zoo community," the zoo said. "His playful antics and charming nature endeared him to staff and visitors alike. He will be remembered with fondness and love by all who knew him."

SEE MORE: Runaway kangaroo punches officer in the face before being captured

According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, giraffes typically live in the wild to age 25, but can live longer in captivity. The Giraffe Conservation Foundation said Over 50% of giraffe calves don’t survive their first year in some populations.

Giraffes are still reliant on their nursing mothers for the first 9-12 months of life. 

Trending stories at