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Blank Park Zoo Giraffe ‘Lizzy’ Dies Suddenly

DES MOINES, Iowa – A young giraffe at the Blank Park Zoo has passed away suddenly.

Lizzy, who was born at the zoo, died just a few months shy of her 2nd birthday. Zoo officials announced the death Thursday and say a preliminary necropsy showed the giraffe had internal abnormalities that may have been present since birth.

Blank Park Zoo staff had noticed Lizzy was on the small side and had not been growing at the pace typical of a giraffe her age. She had also recently suffered from a gastrointestinal illness that may have played a role in her death. The full results of the necropsy are not available yet.

“Lizzy was a gentle, sweet giraffe who greatly enjoyed attention and was usually the first giraffe over to greet keeper staff in the morning or to participate in a training session. Zoo guests often liked watching Lizzy explore and investigate her exhibit, as she was a more curious individual,” said Lou Keeley, large mammal supervisor.

“We were all surprised when we found out Uzuri was pregnant with Lizzy and it appears that we were lucky to have had as much time with Lizzy as we did,” said Mark Vukovich, Blank Park Zoo CEO.

Lizzy was born to Uzuri in 2016.