Giraffe Fractures Neck on Gate and Passes Away at New York Zoo | Inquirer

Giraffe Fractures Neck on Gate and Passes Away at New York Zoo

/ 09:05 AM February 16, 2023

It’s not every day you hear about a giraffe’s death. This was the case of Parker, who arrived at Seneca Park Zoo in New York from the Santa Barbara Zoo in 2018.

According to reports, Parker, New York Zoo’s only adult male giraffe, died when it fractured its neck. He was stuck in a structure of the gate of its enclosure. The facility said that the six-year-old giraffe was unresponsive when officials found it.

Veterinary personnel responded swiftly but were too late and couldn’t save the animal. Zoo Superintendent Steve Lacy said, “The likelihood of this kind of event happening was unexpected and unprecedented.”


What Happened to “Parker” the Giraffe?

“The gate structure was fixed in 2018 and is a typical giraffe enclosure feature and is used in several accredited zoos around the country,” he added.

Zoo staff repeated that the giraffe tried to free itself. They said that they would redesign the gate to ensure a similar event doesn’t happen again.

The New York Post stated that the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and the US Department of Agriculture had been alerted about the event.

Parker arrived in Rochester from the Santa Barbara zoo. The personnel paired him with female giraffes Kipenzi and Iggy. He and Iggy birthed Olmsted, or Olmy, who was born on the 29th of April.

He had one male offspring, a giraffe named Kipenzi. The medical staff euthanized the giraffe immediately after birth due to a congenital abnormality.


The zoo veterinarian, Chris Mckinney, told the Post they are closely watching the remaining three giraffes because “any serious event can affect them.”

Parker is the second giraffe to die in the zoo in the last six months. There have been no incidents in other zoos with similar gate structures, but the zoo has contacted the manufacturer about the potential danger.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello voiced his condolences, “This is a tragedic event for the Seneca Park Zoo community.

From the employees who cared for and loved Parker to the zoo guests and members, we are all grieving this tremendous loss.”

The Zoo is sad to announce the death of 6-year-old male Masai giraffe Parker. Read the full press release below. We ask…

Posted by Seneca Park Zoo on Monday, February 13, 2023

How Will the Public Commemorate Parker?

Parker was popular “for his playfulness and curiosity” and the staff said he was “in excellent health” before the event. The jolly giraffe was also “a joy” to visitors and staff.

President of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Dan Ashe, said, “Our hearts go out to the Seneca Park community and all the dedicated professionals at Seneca Park Zoo with the news of the death of their giraffe Parker.”

The Zoo Society has announced that it will start a Facebook fundraiser with all contributions to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.

Zoo personnel and staff say that people will miss him. Everybody is sorrowful at the loss of one of the zoo’s biggest characters. He was a real treasure and everybody loved him.

There’s a request for the public to commemorate Parker by sharing his photos and memories on various social media platforms.

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