ASHEBORO, N.C-- Zookeepers at the NC Zoo are mourning death of 9-year-old female Giraffe Jamili. Jamili was found unresponsive, early Tuesday morning, in her behind-the-scenes living quarters.
Jamili died after she accidentally became entangled in a mental and physical engagement item used with the giraffe herd, zoo officials confirm. This enrichment item, and others like it, had been used for many years with the zoo's giraffe herd without incident.
The NC Zoo released this statement about the giraffe's death:
The North Carolina Zoo takes special pride in the care we provide to our animals, and the expansive natural habitat and other services that enrich their lives. We are reviewing all of our animal safety policies and procedures — including the enrichment items that the animals use in their behind-the-scenes living quarters — to ensure the safety of all our animals.
According to the Zoo, Jamili was a reticulated giraffe born May 30, 2008 at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She came to the North Carolina Zoo in March 2009. Keepers were immediately taken by Jamili's easy-going personality. She gave birth to one female calf, Juma, in July 2012. Juma is now at the Maryland Zoo and last month had a female calf of her own.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums, of which the North Carolina Zoo is an accredited member, has giraffe population management programs, and the N.C. Zoo is an active participant in one of these programs.