News

Noah, a 17-year-old giraffe at Safari Niagara, has died

By Sarah Ferguson, Fort Erie Times

Safari Niagara announced Tuesday that its 17-year-old giraffe, Noah, died suddenly after suffering a brain aneurysm on Jan. 17. (Safari Niagara, special to Postmedia Network)

Safari Niagara announced Tuesday that its 17-year-old giraffe, Noah, died suddenly after suffering a brain aneurysm on Jan. 17. (Safari Niagara, special to Postmedia Network)

Safari Niagara has had to say goodbye to one of its animals.

Noah, a 17-year-old giraffe that “had everybody’s heart,” died suddenly on Jan. 17, Tim Tykolis, the general manager of Safari Niagara, said.

“It has been hard on us. Noah was here prior to the park opening in 2002.”

Noah, a “crowd favourites” at the zoo, suffered a brain aneurysm.

The giraffe had not exhibited any signs of ill health and his death “comes as a great shock” to staff.”

“He was doing fine when we went in that morning, fed him and did daily checks. During another visitation during the day, we found him down on the ground,” Tykolis said.

Tykolis said staff “followed the protocol” for when an animal becomes ill. The zoo’s veterinarian was called in to care for the giraffe but he “passed away overnight” despite efforts to heal him.

An announcement about Noah’s death was made on the zoo’s Facebook page on Tuesday. Since that time, the “outpouring of support including the phone calls staff has received and the comments on Facebook have been tremendous,” Tykolis said.

Those who visit the zoo when it opens for its 2016 season will be able to view a plaque in front of his exhibit to honour Noah’s memory.

“We’re going to work on a plaque that will acknowledge his life and celebrate him, Tykolis said about Noah.

“Noah is part of our family and he was very important,” to Safari Niagara, Tykolis added.

sarah.ferguson@sunmedia.ca