One of the most senior animal residents of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 27-year-old Masai giraffe �Lindi,� passed away in the Africa Barn last night.
The Zoo's veterinary staff will perform a necropsy (animal autopsy), but Animal Care staff members believe the cause of death was simply old age, as she lived longer than 92 percent of all female Masai giraffes in North America. Lindi was being treated for age-related medical issues for some time including joint stiffness and dental problems.
�Giraffes generally live about 15 or 20 years in the wild and a few years older in captivity,� said the Zoo's Curator of Animals Andi Kornak. �Lindi had a good long life and was the second oldest living female giraffe in North America.�
Lindi was born in 1985 at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in California, and came to Cleveland later that same year. She had eight calves with three different males here at the Zoo, including 1-year-old Trevor, who still lives in Cleveland.
Six giraffes remain in the Zoo's African Savanna exhibit including Masai females Jhasmin, Jada and Grace, and males Travis and Trevor, and one reticulated giraffe, a male named Nitro, who is being held until the Columbus Zoo completes its new giraffe exhibit.
Giraffes are the tallest mammals, with males capable of reaching heights up to 18 feet tall. Giraffes can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. They have long, prehensile tongues, which are bluish purple, which they use to strip the leaves from tree branches in the wild.
Northeast Ohio's most-visited year-round attraction, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with hours extended to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Admission is $12.25 per person, $8.25 for kids ages 2 to 11 and free for children younger than 2 and Zoo members. Parking is free. Located at 3900 Wildlife Way, the Zoo is easily accessible from Interstates 71, 90 and 480.
To learn more, visit clemetzoo.com or call (216) 661-6500.