Ohio zoo plans changes to giraffe population after 4 deaths

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TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The Toledo Zoo plans to change its giraffe herd after a series of deaths.

Four of the northwestern Ohio zoo’s Masai giraffes have died since 2016, including two in the last two months.

Its curator of mammals, Michael Frushour, tells The Blade newspaper the zoo is talking about switching to reticulated giraffes. He says it’s believed that subspecies isn’t as prone to some of the health issues seen with Masai giraffes.

An 8-year-old male giraffe, Trevor, collapsed Aug. 24 while on exhibit and died within minutes. His female offspring, Binti, had to be euthanized in June. Lab results showed both had severe anemia, adding to the suspicion of a genetic issue.

The zoo says Trevor died of a condition called peracute giraffe mortality syndrome. Binti’s cause of death remains unknown.

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