It is with heavy hearts that Como Zoo announces the passing of a beloved member of its reticulated giraffe herd, Daisy.
Daisy, 23, suffered from severe degenerative arthritis which, for a large herbivore who spends 20 hours a day on her feet, can be crippling. It was apparent that it had affected her mobility, her ability to rest, and that she was in pain. Como’s animal care staff and veterinary staff worked together on a pain management plan to keep Daisy comfortable for as long as possible to manage her degenerative arthritis. Daisy was considered geriatric for a giraffe, and her quality of life had steadily declined to a point that the difficult decision was made to humanely euthanize her early this morning, Thursday, March 9, 2023. These decisions are never easy and are made after exhaustive discussions and all options are considered. At the end, Daisy was surrounded by those who loved and knew her best.
Daisy came to Como Park Zoo and Conservatory from San Diego Wild Animal Park in October 2002 at almost 3 years old on a breeding recommendation from the Species Survival Plan (SSP). Daisy had eight calves in her lifetime, many of which are living around the country in other AZA Accredited zoos.
“Daisy was a strong, beautiful matriarch – quick to judge and slow to accept her human coworkers” said Senior Zookeeper Jill Erzar. “She was a fierce and protective mother who would do anything to keep her calves safe. She was an extraordinary ambassador for giraffe, helping us connect visitors to her wild counterparts by telling her story.”
“The entire Giraffe SSP shares Como’s heartbreak over this sad event” stated Amy Schilz, Giraffe Species Survival Plan Coordinator. “Como Zoo has provided excellent care and welfare for Daisy that has allowed her to live a long life. At 23 years old, she has far surpassed the life expectancy of female giraffes in the Species Survival Program”.
As the matriarch of Como Zoo’s giraffe herd, and after almost 20 years at Como, she touched the hearts of staff, volunteers, and the public. She will be extremely missed by all. Como’s herd now consists of female Clover and male Skeeter.