Released by the Ellen Trout Zoo:
Thanksgiving Day was a sad day at the Ellen Trout Zoo. Rafiki, the adult male Maasai giraffe, was found dead in his stall when his keepers arrived at work at 8:00am.
He had been on exhibit the previous day and was behaving normally and was observed eating in his stall at the end of the day when his keepers left at 5:00pm. From his position, it appeared that he died suddenly and collapsed. There were no outward indications that there was anything seriously wrong with him.
He was being treated for a slight limp due to age related arthritis in his left foreleg. A necropsy to try to determine the cause of death was conducted and took nearly eight hours to complete. It could be several weeks before the results of the necropsy are known.