We are deeply saddened to announce the peaceful passing of Kelly, our beloved giraffe. Kelly, who was 22 years old and one of the oldest giraffes in the UK, had been experiencing age-related health problems in recent times. Despite the dedicated care provided by her keepers and veterinary team, it became apparent that her health was declining. As a result, a comprehensive health screen was conducted under full anaesthetic, and putting her to sleep was determined to be the best course of action.
Lead veterinarian Romain Pizzi said, ‘Through detailed diagnostic testing and a post-mortem examination, we sadly discovered several health issues primarily associated with the natural effects of aging. While no single organ had failed outright, the combined impact of these conditions led to a decline in her metabolism, ultimately preventing her from maintaining her body condition.”
Here at Blair Drummond Safari Park, we currently serve as a giraffe hybrid holding facility, offering a home to hybrid giraffes and allowing other zoos the opportunity to breed freely within their own collections. As such, our facility acts as something of a retirement home for the giraffe community and most of our residents are in their later years.
Kelly was born in 2000 at Chester Zoo and arrived at Blair Drummond in 2010, accompanied by her daughter Bella, who continues to reside with us. While Kelly and Bella shared a physical resemblance, Kelly was very much the shyer of the two and was well-known for her lovely, gentle nature. Over the course of a decade, Kelly became an integral part of the Blair Drummond family and her loss will be deeply felt by all who had the privilege of knowing her.
Deputy Large Mammal Team Leader Shonagh Bell added ‘Kelly was a contentedly shy giraffe but when she warmed to you it felt like such an honour to be in her company. We miss her so much.’