POWELL, Ohio (WCMH) — A giraffe regarded as a cherished member of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium who “captured the hearts of many” has died.
Shaggy, a 22-year-old giraffe, was euthanized after his health rapidly declined, the Columbus Zoo announced in a Facebook post on Friday. Born at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado, Shaggy was a reticulated giraffe, listed as endangered, and arrived at the Columbus Zoo in the fall of 2013. He was one of the original giraffes to grace the zoo’s “Heart of Africa” region.
“With his distinctive white ‘socks’ and a personality as unique as his markings, Shaggy captured the hearts of many,” the zoo wrote. “Zoo visitors will know that he was famously discerning about the lettuce he consumed when being fed by guests and volunteers, favoring only the greenest Romaine leaves.”
Shaggy displayed signs of lethargy last weekend, prompting the zoo’s animal health team to begin medical treatments. When he did not show improvement, Shaggy underwent an emergency procedure that revealed significant disease. The zoo’s team decided to humanely euthanize Shaggy after he also sustained an injury during the examination.
“Shaggy’s ‘I do what I want’ attitude and iconic presence in our giraffe tower made him a symbol of joy for all who visited,” the zoo wrote. “Shaggy will forever hold a special place in our hearts, and the giraffe barn will not be the same without him.”