Greater Vancouver Zoo in mourning with loss of another giraffe

Jafari, the 12-year-old giraffe was found dead in his barn on Sunday morning

Jafari, the giraffe, has died.

The 12-year-old healthy male giraffe was found dead in his heated barn at the Greater Vancouver Zoo on Sunday morning.

Around 7:30 a.m., animal care staff doing their morning routine came upon Jafari collapsed in his heated barn, said zoo spokesperson Jodi Henderson. He has lived at the Greater Vancouver Zoo since 2001 when he was six months old. The cause of death is unknown at this time and a necropsy will be performed.

“This is extremely hard on all of us at the Zoo, although we take comfort in knowing visitors of the zoo had an opportunity to learn more about this beautiful endangered species,” said Henderson.

In memory of Jafari, the zoo asks visitors to share their encounters with Jafari on the Zoo Facebook page.

This is the third giraffe to die in a year. Last November, Eleah was found collapsed in her heated barn and just like Jafari, was considered healthy prior to her death. But she was much older at 23 years of age.

Her death had come only a week after her son Amryn, a three year old giraffe, died unexpectedly. Amryn was Eleah and Jafari’s offspring.

The necropsies done of both giraffes were inconclusive as to what killed them.

That leaves only one giraffe left at the zoo. A five-year-old Rothschild giraffe was purchased from an Ontario zoo and brought to Aldergrove in July to be a companion for Jafari.

In 2006, the SPCA charged the Zoo with animal cruelty in relation to the concrete holding pen with no access to the outdoors for two-year-old Hazina the hippo.

The charges were stayed because the hippo was moved to a much improved enclosure that included a big outdoor pool and heated enclosure.

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