Hellabrunn Zoo mourns death of Togo the giraffe

Togo the giraffe was found dead in his barn this morning. He passed away shortly before his 24th birthday.

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn/Norbert Schacher

On 19 May, the zookeepers arrived at the Giraffe Savannah in the morning and found Togo lying lifeless on the ground in his barn. The vets - who had recently been monitoring the bull’s health - were called immediately. However they could do no more than pronounce Togo’s dead. They determined the time of death as between 4 am - 5 am that morning. His body is now undergoing a necropsy at the Animal Pathology department of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. The examination, which is expected to shed light on the cause of death, will take about a week to complete.

Togo arrived at Hellabrunn Zoo on 14 April 1994 from Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart. He was born in Wilhelma Zoo on 28 July 1991. Twenty years later the friendly reticulated giraffe found his soulmate in the female giraffe Kabonga. She was euthanized on 8 May due to age-related health reasons, which included irreparable walking problems that emerged after the birth of a weak calf in December 2014. Togo also had recent health problems, probably due to his relatively advanced age.

Zoo director Rasem Baban: "Togo lived at Hellabrunn for almost 20 years and fathered ten calves. His two-year-old son Naledi will now assume the role of breeding bull. This is the one good thing that will come from the sad fact that Togo has died: If Togo was still with us, we would have had to send little Naledi to another zoo upon reaching sexual maturity. But now he can stay at Hellabrunn. Furthermore, we are also planning to bring a new playmate for Naledi and Bahati to Hellabrunn in the near future."

The European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for reticulated giraffes (Gelsenkirchen) coordinates the population of the species in European zoos and manages the transfer of giraffes to various zoological institutions. The population of reticulated giraffes in the wild is in constant decline. There are now less than 4,700 reticulated giraffes living in Africa.

About the giraffes living at Hellabrunn Zoo:

Born 26.08.2011 at Frankfurt Zoo
At Hellabrunn Zoo since: 2013

Born 14.03.2013 at Hellabrunn Zoo
Mother: Kabonga, Father: Togo

Calves, Togo fathered with Kabonga:
27.08.1999 – Willy, male
18.07.2001 – Bwana, male
01.07.2003 – Dumela (Giselle), female
09.02.2005 – Fred Bull, male
24.07.2006 – Garp (Jimmy), male
01.02.2008 – Ijuma (Isabel), male
01.08.2009 – Male calf, died after one day
05.04.2011 – Limber, female
14.03.2013 – Naledi, male
23.12.2014 – Female calf, died on the same day