Brevard Zoo mourns death of 21-year-old giraffe Johari

Johari arrived at zoo in 2003, according to zoo officials

Johari. (Brevard Zoo)

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Brevard Zoo is mourning the loss of one of its giraffes.

The zoo announced Monday its 21-year-old giraffe Johari died after a medical procedure.

“While every animal death is difficult for our Zoo family, this is an especially hard loss for us. Johari arrived at the Zoo in 2003, immediately captivating visitors and staff alike. She loved people watching and eating leaves from guests at the giraffe platform,” the zoo said on social media.

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Officials said Johari recently stopped eating and became lethargic, prompting its care team to look into what could be causing her to lose her appetite. The zoo said staff members noticed Johari had a loose tooth and was started on antibiotics. After the treatment began and tests did not reveal explanations for her symptoms, the zoo said it planned a sedation procedure for Saturday to remove the tooth.

“Johari did well during and initially after the procedure, but about 45 minutes into recovery, she became unsteady on her feet and went into cardiac arrest. Our heroic team immediately began performing CPR, but she could not be revived,” the zoo said in a release.

Johari arrived at the zoo in 2003 and was described as being a “calm confident matriarch.”

“She loved people watching and eating leaves from guests at the giraffe platform. Johari also enjoyed training sessions and could always be counted on to make her way up to the hoof training wall to be the first in line for a trim,” the zoo said.

In 2020, Johari birthed her ninth calf, which weighed 125 pounds and was 6 feet at birth.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.