Dottie, oldest giraffe at Omaha zoo, dies

Officials at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo report their oldest giraffe died. (Source: WOWT)
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 4:06 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium announced Wednesday that its oldest giraffe has died.

Dottie, a female giraffe, died May 31 and according to the release, she was 22 years, 8 months, and 19 days old.

The release further states she fell Tuesday morning unable to get up and was found by the staff in the giraffe barn lying down on her side. The zoo decided to humanely euthanize her due to Dottie now not being able to stand on her one and having chronic medical issues.

“After spending her entire life in Omaha, Dottie was seen by millions of Zoo visitors and was an ambassador for conservation. She will be greatly missed by our Zoo family and the Omaha community. Dottie lives on through her offspring, positively impacting the sustainability of her species in zoos. Her keepers describe Dottie as an excellent matriarch to the Giraffe herd, sweet yet strong, with a love of bananas.

Dan Cassidy, Vice President of Animal Management for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
WOWT Dottie in the Barn
WOWT Dottie in the Barn(PHOTO: Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium)

Living at the zoo for her entire life, Dottie was born on Sept. 13, 1999, and is a mother to three calves. The release reports the average life expectancy for a female giraffe is about 20 years and for a male is about 14 years.

Since 2019, Dottie was under medical care for osteoarthritis resulting in overgrown hooves and was closely monitored.

We have some unfortunate news, I’m afraid. Dottie, our 22-year-old female giraffe, the oldest among our herd, passed...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Wednesday, June 1, 2022

“Dottie is a testament to the excellent quality care provided by both her animal care staff and the veterinary team at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, from animal care staff training with her to allow oral medications to veterinary care staff safely anesthetizing her for hoof trims with visiting expert consultants. Dottie was able to share another three years of her life with her family group, including recently becoming an ‘auntie’ to new giraffe calf Arthur. Dottie was well-loved by all that had the chance to know her.”

Dr. Laura Kleinschmidt, DVM, Dipl. ACZM, Associate Veterinarian for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

Copyright 2022 WOWT. All rights reserved.