Beloved giraffe dies at age 16 at Zoo Atlanta

ATLANTA — Zoo Atlanta said it one of its beloved animals has died after a decline in its health. Abu was 16 and was the oldest member of the Zoo’s giraffe herd and was considered geriatric.

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The Animal Care and Veterinary Teams had been monitoring Abu closely in recent days following a sharp decline in his health. Given his poor prognosis and with concern for the impact on his quality of life, the teams made the extremely difficult decision to euthanize him on Oct. 15.

“This is a very sad day for Zoo Atlanta. Abu was very special to so many, both within the Zoo team and among our Members and guests,” said Sam Rivera, DVM, Senior Director of Animal Health. “Our Animal Care and Veterinary Teams have worked tirelessly in their efforts to care for Abu, always with his well-being foremost in our minds, and pursued every option available to us in terms of his treatment. We have all appreciated the amazing support of our Zoo Atlanta community, Members and friends for our efforts and for Abu.”


Abu arrived at Zoo Atlanta in 2007. In 2010, he became the father of the first giraffe calf ever born at Zoo Atlanta, and sired a second offspring in 2011 before later becoming the dominant member of an all-male herd.

The two other giraffes at Zoo Atlanta are males Etana and Isooba, both 10 years old.

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Abu had been battling issues with arthritis for the last year.

We’re heartbroken to have to share sad news today. This morning, we mourn the loss of Abu the giraffe. Our Animal Care...

Posted by Zoo Atlanta on Friday, October 15, 2021