The Cincinnati Zoo's Beloved Giraffe Kimba Has Passed Away

Kimba experienced complications following a foot procedure on Nov. 12

Nov 18, 2019 at 10:41 am
Kimba - Photo: Lisa Hubbard
Photo: Lisa Hubbard

Kimba, a 12-year-old giraffe from the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, passed away early Sunday morning (Nov. 17). 

"The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is sad to announce that beloved male giraffe Kimba passed away early this morning," a press release on the zoo's site reads. "The Zoo Volunteer Observer (ZVO) team has been monitoring the giraffe barn for weeks, watching a pregnant female for signs of labor, and called vets when they saw Kimba fall to the ground a little after 1 a.m."

The giraffe experienced medical complications following a successful foot surgery that took place on Nov. 12, when the zoo brought in a specialist to evaluate Kimba's condition and trim his hooves in order to address recent mobility issues.  

“Kimba began intermittent bouts of lameness last summer, which we’ve been managing with laser therapy and medications that mitigate symptoms,” said Cincinnati Zoo’s curator of mammals Christina Gorsuch about the hoof procedure. "Giraffes balance a lot of weight on their extra-long legs, so we want to do everything possible to maintain foot health.”

Kimba came to the Cincinnati Zoo from Providence, Rhode Island's Roger Williams Park Zoo in 2018. He has sired six offspring, one of which lives at his former zoo home. His seventh will be born any day now at the Cincinnati Zoo. 

"Please keep Kimba's care team in your thoughts. They are devastated," a Facebook post by the zoo reads. 

According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, the lifespan of a giraffe is typically 25 years.