Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by petra, Feb 13, 2006.
mummy giraffee and her baby die
Staff 'in tears' over zoo deaths
Monday February 13, 2006 7:43 PM[/font]
[font=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]Zoo staff were in tears after a fire which killed a six-day-old giraffe and its mother.
Early indications were that the blaze at Paignton Zoo, Devon, was accidental and possibly caused by an electrical fault in the giraffe and elephant accommodation, a Devon Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said.
Twelve-year-old female giraffe Kizi and her unnamed calf died in the fire, and there was concern about the condition of the calf's father, Paddy, who suffered from smoke inhalation.
The fire was thought to have started in either the birth compound, or in plywood erected to protect the baby from damaging itself on the metal bars.
Mother Kizi gave birth to her latest calf after a 15-month gestation period - and the zoo was running a competition to name its latest addition.
Kizi's previous calf died of heart failure, and two earlier babies were hand-reared after she rejected them. But she was rearing her latest calf, said zoo director Simon Tonge, adding that everyone was "devastated" by what had happened.
Zoo spokesman Phil Knowling said: "I have seen people in tears - it is a very dark day for all of us."
He said the zoo's website was receiving 6,000 hits an hour - compared to the normal 1,000 - as messages of sympathy and goodwill flooded in. There had also been emails, and cards and flowers left at the gate, he said, adding: "There is a lot of goodwill for us out there."
Male giraffe Paddy has not eaten since the fire, and a vet was going to try and boost him with vitmins, said Mr Knowling
It is SO sad when this kind of thing happens. Zoo animals are like community pets and they are known and loved by so many -- especially their keepers. I remember the horrible fire in the primate quarters at the Philadelphia zoo about 10 years ago. That was a devastating loss.
I hope papa giraffe gets back on track quickly.
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