Hellabrunn Zoo's female giraffe Kabonga was euthanized on Friday, 8 May, to relieve her painful suffering. Age-related conditions and the birth of a feeble calf in December 2014 resulted in her find it increasingly difficult to move.
Born on 13.07.1993 in Duisburg Zoo, Kabonga has lived at Hellabrunn Zoo since 1994. She was almost 22 years old, a grand old age for a reticulated giraffe. The gentle, caring mother giraffe gave birth to a total of ten calves, of which eight have survived. Her offspring include the male calf Naledi, who still lives in the giraffe group at Hellabrunn Zoo.
In recent months, Kabonga found it increasingly difficult to walk. Her overall physical condition was in a state of constant deterioration, occurring at such a rapid pace that the veterinarians at the zoo could see no other solution than to euthanize the reticulated giraffe. A necropsy was conducted at the Veterinary Pathology department of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
Christine Strobl, Mayor and Chairman of Hellabrunn Zoo, bid a personal farewell to Kabonga on her recent visit to celebrate the birthday of Ludwig, the elephant: "It's always sad when an animal we have come to know and love has to die. But dying is a natural part of life."
About the giraffe group at Hellabrunn Zoo, which now comprises three members:
Born 28.07.1991 in Wilhelma Zoo, Stuttgart
At Hellabrunn Zoo since: 1994
Born 26.08.2011 in Frankfurt Zoo
At Hellabrunn Zoo since: 2013
Born 14.03.2013 in Hellabrunn Zoo
Mother: Kabonga; Father: Togo