Giraffes Die In New Jersey Zoo
Following the recent story about the large number of exotic animals which were destroyed in a tragic incident in Ohio, another two giraffes have been killed in a fire at the Animal Kingdom Zoo in New Jersey. A Halloween party had been held at the venue earlier that evening. The zoo has been in operation for 30 years and is run by 67 year old Burton Sipp. It may not now reopen due to inadequate insurance.
The cause of the fire is as yet unknown but the giraffes, a mother and her calf, were crushed when a wall collapsed on them as fire-fighters were attempting to release them from a locked building. The current chilly autumn weather meant that the giraffes had been locked indoors for their own comfort.
The zoo has recently been renamed Bridget’s Animal Kingdom following the death of Sipp’s wife Bridget in another fire at the premises in April. The calf was transported to a nearby animal hospital but was unable to be saved. Other animals also died in the fire, including cats, dogs and a number of exotic birds.
A number of other local zoos have offered to help with the rehousing of the rest of the animals and the Great Adventure Park in Jackson, N.J. has already arranged to look after some of the remaining giraffes for the winter.
A Pedicure For Sophie The Giraffe
In more light-hearted giraffe related news, over in the United Kingdom a 17 year old giraffe named Sophie has undergone a pedicure, something which is nowhere near as easy as it sounds.
Sophie was born at Woburn Safari park in Bedfordshire but had previously been a resident at Dudley Zoo in the West Midlands before making the move to Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park near Stirling in Scotland.
When Sophie arrived at her new home, one of the first things they noticed about her was her overgrown hooves. During the course of their lives, giraffes would normally wear their hooves down naturally but for whatever reason Sophie’s hooves had become too big. If neglected, this can lead to an unnatural variation in the giraffes steps which can ultimately lead to the development of ankle problems.
“Spring In Her Step”
The decision was therefore made to clip the hooves, the giraffe version of a visit to the pedicurist. Overseen by head vet Colin Scott, a team consisting of three vets, two veterinary nurses and a number of Blair Drummond’s staff members took around an hour and a half to complete the operation.
It’s a fairly unusual procedure for giraffes and the park manager Gary Gilmour said that “….although the clippers look very big, they work the same way as a set of nail clippers work on a human and it doesn’t hurt the animal…….when we brought her round she was up and about in no time and has been doing really well. She really is a great giraffe and we’re pleased to see she’s got a spring back in her step.”