Last Wednesday was an unfortunate day at the Kansas City Zoo in Missouri. The zoo had to say goodbye to a beloved giraffe named Hamisi, a 9-year-old male. Hamisi died in what is said to be a freak accident that led to an acute spinal cord injury. The animal reportedly got his head stuck in an area of the enclosure where the staff enters to care for the giraffes. Upon getting stuck, the giraffe panicked and thrashed about which eventually resulted in his death, according to Fox News.
The facility in which the giraffes are kept has safely housed the animals since it was built in 1995. This is the first time an accident like this has occurred there. Although the accident was indeed tragic, zoo staff members who loved the animal can take comfort in knowing he didn’t suffer for long. Following the incident, veterinarians examined the giraffe and determined that he most likely died instantly. In addition, zoo guests did not have to witness the heartbreaking scene as the incident took place after hours. Nevertheless, the zoo was saddened by the loss and expressed their devastation in a public statement.
“Kansas City Zoo is devastated by the loss of one of the Zoo’s adult giraffes, Hamisi, who passed away Wednesday morning due to a tragic accident. Hamisi passed away in the early morning hours after sustaining an acute spinal cord injury in his behind-the-scenes bedroom. According to a necropsy performed by the Zoo’s veterinarians on Wednesday, Hamisi likely died instantly. The entire Zoo is heartbroken and grieving this loss.”
The zoo now intends to review the giraffe’s former habitat and make any modifications necessary to ensure that such a tragedy does not happen again. They also plan to report any potential safety hazards they find to AZA-accredited facilities, which will hopefully prevent this sort of accident from taking place at other zoos.
Hamisi arrived at the Kansas City Zoo in 2016. During his time at the facility, he fathered two calves named Dixie and Maxwell. In total, the zoo houses 1,700 animals at their facility and hopes to welcome more in the future if space allows. They claim their utmost priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of all their animals.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only loss the zoo suffered in the past week. The facility also just said their goodbyes to Bam Bam, a 31-year-old polar bear. The animal was put to sleep after veterinarians diagnosed him with a type of liver cancer that is not treatable.