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Niabi Zoo Mourns Loss of Giraffe & Zebra

Bella Twiga Niabi Zoo.jpg
Niabi Zoo
Bella, a zebra and Twiga, a giraffe

Two animals at Niabi Zoo have died, a giraffe and zebra who were both 16.

Two animals at Niabi Zoo have died. The zoo says a 16-year-old female giraffe named Twiga died on January 3rd from "a degenerative, neurological disease of the brain and spinal cord."

The zoo also announced on Facebook today (Tuesday), late last year, Bella, a 16-year-old female zebra, died of "meningioma" (meh-NIHN-jee-oh-muh). That's a tumor in the brain or spinal cord.

Twiga Giraffe with red tissue flower may 22.jpg
Niabi Zoo
Twiga with a flower

Sixteen years ago, Twiga was only one year old when she came from the Palm Beach Zoo. Employees at Niabi say, "Twiga was a lovely, quiet lady with a constant twinkle in her eye."

They also say, "Bella was a sassy lady zebra that liked being near the keepers and her mini-donkey friends. She enjoyed warm, sunny days and would rest facing the sun on many warm days."

Kristina Stump took care of Twiga for all 15 years she lived at the zoo in Coal Valley. Stump hopes people who came to see Twiga and interacted with her instilled in them "a passion for giraffes that will benefit the conservation of the species, ensuring that her legacy will endure.”

Kristina with giraffe.jpg
Niabi Zoo
Kristina Stump feeding Twiga

Zoo Director, Lee Jackson, says, "We have one remaining giraffe at the zoo, (Kenya) a male. Our goal is not just to replace Twiga, but to build a small breeding herd." He also says 16 years is getting old for a giraffe, but 18-20 years old would be considered geriatric. Some giraffes live into their mid-twenties.

Jackson also says, The zoo is looking at what animals may be available to us at this time and discussing a fundraising plan."

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