Giraffe dies at Lisbon zoo after falling into moat as visitor attempted to feed it

in World · 31-05-2018 13:44:00 · 0 Comments

A giraffe has died at Lisbon zoo after falling into a safety moat in its pen, while trying to reach food being offered by a visitor who disobeyed the zoo’s rules by attempting to feed the animal.

The giraffe fell into a moat that keeps the animals in the pen from getting too close to visitors.
The 11-year-old female made headlines last year after giving birth at the zoo, in November, and leaves behind a six-month- old calf. At the time, the Zoo released a video with the birth and the first steps of the young giraffe.
In a statement, the zoo said the visitor who attempted to feed the animal has been formally identified by PSP police and the case is being looked into.
A necropsy carried out on the giraffe post-mortem found that it had died from “cardio-respiratory failure as a consequence of the fall.”
The zoo stressed that despite many warnings posted around the zoo, asking people not to feed the animals, some visitors ignore them and still do.

“The death of this giraffe that was born in our Zoo represents an incalculable loss for all the members of the park. The Angolan giraffe, also known as the Namibian Giraffe, is one of the most emblematic species and one of the most beloved of our visitors”, said Carlos Agrela Pinheiro, administrator of the Zoo, in comments to newspaper Diário de Notícias.
“The fact that this giraffe was a mother in November of last year, upset us even more,” he concludes.
He said that the Zoo “has a specific role to play in the conservation of animals”.
The visitor violated safety rules by calling the 11-year-old giraffe over to try to feed her. The animal came too close to the ditch, fell, and failed to survive the injuries it sustained.
In addition to the visitor who tried to feed the giraffe, police identified two witnesses.
The area where the accident occurred was closed and, at that time, the cable car was also stopped.
Native to the savannas and arid forested areas of all Sub-Saharan Africa, the Angolan Giraffe species is considered “vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, since its population has diminished in Botswana and Namibia, where it originates.
In Europe, these giraffes, which can reach 5.5 metres in height, are found only in the zoos of Lisbon, Dortmund (Germany), and Utrecht (Holland).


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