The Toledo Zoo euthanized Mowgli, its sole male Masai giraffe, today due to a chronic hip condition that could no longer be managed with medication, according to the zoo’s executive director.
“About 16 months ago, we noticed that he had a little bit of a limp,” said Jeff Sailer, who joined the zoo Aug. 1 from the City Zoos with the Wildlife Conservation Society, in New York, where he was director. “We have been watching it and giving him pain killers, but it became clear in April that he was not improving and the analgesics were not working.”
The zoo then brought in a large animal veterinarian as a consultant who confirmed there was something going on with the giant mammal’s femur. He suggested they continue to manage it with painkillers until the giraffe’s quality of life began to suffer, then euthanize him.
“The staff is pretty upset,” Mr. Sailer said. “But if you care about an animal, it’s the right thing to do.”
Mowgli, who was 12 years old, was middle-aged for a giraffe. He was about 17 feet tall and weighed about 2,400 pounds. He came to Toledo from the Toronto Zoo in 2001.
Mowgli was the father of the youngest member of the zoo’s giraffe family, Tuli, who was born July 23, 2011.
Tuli remains at the zoo along with her mother, Elvira, and an unrelated female named Charlotte.
Mowgli and Elvira had another son, Enzi, who was born at the zoo Dec. 26, 2009. Masai giraffes are the Earth’s tallest animal species. When full grown, they stand 16 to 18 feet tall and can run at speeds of up to 35 mph.
Contact Tanya Irwin at: email@example.com or 419-724-6066.