4-year-old giraffe at Toledo Zoo euthanized due to declining health

4-year-old giraffe at Toledo Zoo euthanized due to declining health

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Toledo Zoo sadly reports that four-year-old giraffe Bahati was humanely euthanized on Friday.

Zoo officials say the Masai giraffe was euthanized due to rapidly declining health.

According to Zoo veterinary staff, Bahati began drooling excessively and animal care staff noticed muscle wasting on one side of her face about six months ago.

As she was around the age when Masai giraffe cut teeth, the decision was made to monitor her condition and treat with anti-inflammatories and antibiotics. Until a month ago, Bahati remained stable, eating well and otherwise acting normally. In the last month, staff noticed significant weight loss, more drooling, severe swelling on the left side of her face, as well as loss of lip function and mobility. This rapid decline caused our vet staff to move forward with plans to immobilize Bahati and perform diagnostic tests. Unfortunately, the day before the scheduled procedure, Bahati's condition became dire and the tough decision was made to humanely euthanize her. A necropsy will be performed to determine more specific causes.

- Toledo Zoo

Bahati was born at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere in December 2013. She was loaned to Toledo Zoo on recommendation of the Giraffe Species Survival Plan in April of 2015.

"While it is always difficult when an animal dies, it is particularly hard when the species is listed as vulnerable, like Masai giraffes. We are thankful for the tremendous care Bahati received from our keepers and veterinary staff. Our animals' quality of life is our paramount concern, and their care truly is a group effort that encompasses our entire staff," said Shayla Bell Moriarty, the Zoo's director of communication.

The rest of the Zoo's Masai giraffe tower remains on exhibit indoors until the weather stays consistently warm.

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