RI Zoo Euthanizes Popular Giraffe

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Officials at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence have made the difficult decision to put down a giraffe.

The 21-year-old male Masai giraffe named Griffin was euthanized over the weekend. Officials say the popular animal had arthritis that made it too weak to stand or move.

Tim French, the zoo's Deputy Director of Animal Programs, called the decision a “difficult and painful choice.”

Griffin has had arthritis for several years and staff had been able to treat it and make the animal comfortable and mobile.

Zoo staff says Griffin was possibly the oldest Masai giraffe in captivity in North America. While the expected lifespan for giraffes in zoos is 12 to 15 years, Griffin was 21.

He came to the zoo in 1990 when he was one year old.

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