Fresno Chaffee Zoo mourning death of Uzuri the Giraffe, who lived in Fresno since 1995

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno Chaffee Zoo is mourning the loss of Uzuri, a female reticulated giraffe and the oldest giraffe at the zoo.

Uzuri was humanely euthanized after years of fighting progressive arthritis, the zoo said. She recently began showing a decrease in activity as her joints worsened.

"Due to diminishing quality of life, the decision was made for euthanasia," said Dr. Shannon Nodolf, Chief Veterinary Officer.

Uzuri was 26 years old and was one of the oldest reticulated giraffes in captivity. The median life expectancy for a female giraffe in managed care is 19 years.

Zookeepers celebrated her latest birthday with a cake made from some of her favorites: raspberry jello, applesauce, honey, apple slices and lettuce.

The word "Uzuri" means beautiful in Swahili. Zookeepers remember her as full of personality and eager to greet them in the mornings. Uzuri had live in Fresno since 1995.
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