The employees at the Tiergarten Schonbrunn Zoo in Austria have said their goodbyes to Europe’s oldest giraffe over the weekend.
The oldest male giraffe in Europe, named Kimbar, who was a resident of the Tiergarten Schonbrunn Zoo in Austria’s capital Vienna was euthanised on 14th May 2021.
Kimbar, who was 27-years-old and was born at the Emmen Zoo in the Netherlands in 1993, would have turned 28 on 22nd June 2021.
However, due to severe joint problems, the zoo officials decided to put him down after medication was no longer helpful and he started going through unbearable pain.
Spokesperson Johanna Bukovsky told Newsflash: “Giraffes, especially males, rarely reach over 20 years of age. It was clear to all of us that ‘farewell day’ could come any time. Nevertheless, we are extremely sad.”
Bukovsky added that Kimbar was lovingly cared for until his last day and said: “Kimbar had special demands when he reached his advanced age. Since his teeth had already fallen off, we had to soak the pellets he ate, while the hay had to be steamed and the vegetables had to be chopped in pieces.”
According to her Kimbar particularly enjoyed being brushed with a special broom around the neck, chest and stomach by the zoo keepers.
Kimbar was brought to the Tiergarten Schonbrunn Zoo in Vienna when he was two years old as part of the EAZA Ex-situ Programme, formerly known as European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), which is a breeding program aiming to protect threatened species in zoos.
Bukovsky explained more about Kimber’s development over the years by saying: “Here Kimbar grew into an almost five-metre-high bull. He could never get enough treats. That certainly contributed to the fact that he was a real role-model student during regular trainings.”
Kimbar spent his old age accompanied by female giraffes Carla and Rita in the Maria-Theresia Barracks, where according to the spokesperson he felt very comfortable.
Carla and Rita will now be moved to the new and renovated giraffe park which was opened in 2017.
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Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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