A four-year-old giraffe at the Toledo Zoo has died after losing the ability stand up.
The female Masai giraffe named Bahati was found on the ground Thursday.
Zoo keepers said the animal was unable to get onto its legs despite trying for several hours, causing it to be euthanized due to its rapidly declining health, according to Veterinarian Dr. Kristen Thomas.
Bahati, a female Masai giraffe at the Toledo Zoo in Ohio, died Thursday after she was unable to stand up on her own despite hours of trying, pictured above
The Toledo Zoo shared this message on Twitter mourning the loss of Bahati on Thursday
‘We tried a bunch of different things and unfortunately she was just unable to stand up on her own,’ Thomas said.
She revealed that the the giraffe suffered an unknown issue in her mouth that caused swelling, drooling and muscle loss.
It is not yet clear if her mouth concerns contributed to why she could not raise herself up.
Her mouth condition started six months ago and was at first treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication.
Thomas said that the giraffe was at the age where they cut new teeth.
Although Bahati improved, a month ago her symptoms resurfaced, according to the Toledo Blade.
The East African Masai giraffe was born in 2013 at the Nashville Zoo, pictured above celebrating her first birthday
The giraffe, pictured above with her mother in 2014, suffered an unknown illness in its mouth. It is not clear if the illness contributed to her cause of death
She lost significant weight and some lip function.
‘She was her normal self [Wednesday]. She didn’t show us any signs of being ill aside from having this issue in the mouth we were going to address… Giraffes do, at times, go down when they’re healthy. They are sensitive creatures with very, very long legs that are easily injured,’ Thomas said to the Toledo Blade.
The African animal was born at the Nashville Zoo in December 13, 2013 and was moved to Toledo, Ohio on loan as a part of a Giraffe Species Survival Plan, the zoo said in a release.
‘While it is always difficult when an animal dies, it is particularly hard when the species is listed as vulnerable, like Masai giraffes. We are thankful for the tremendous care Bahati received from our keepers and veterinary staff. Our animals’ quality of life is our paramount concern and their care truly is a group effort, that encompasses our entire staff,’ the zoo said Friday.
A necropsy has been planned to determine the cause of death.
Masai giraffes are a vulnerable species native to East Africa.