On May 19, 2023, the Calgary Zoo experienced a heartbreaking event as Emara, a 12-year-old female Masai giraffe, passed away. The circumstances surrounding Emara’s death have left animal lovers devastated, particularly those who had the privilege of seeing her in the vast savannah wilderness of Masai Mara or at the Calgary Zoo.
Emara’s journey began in 2016 when she was brought to the Calgary Zoo from the San Diego Zoo at the age of five. Her caregivers at the zoo remember her as a curious, cautious, and gentle giraffe, and they mourn her tragic loss deeply. Let us delve into what happened to this beloved animal.
Emara Cause of Death
According to the necropsy report, Emara’s cause of death was a broken neck resulting from a tragic accident. The dedicated staff at The Wilder Institute and the Calgary Zoo’s animal care, health, and welfare team discovered Emara’s lifeless body near the railing of the African Savannah Yard.
Zoo officials determined that she passed away early in the morning before the arrival of the staff. The evidence suggests that one of Emara’s ossicones became entangled in a cable surrounding the yard, causing her to fall and suffer a fatal neck injury.
In response to this unfortunate incident, The Wilder Institute and the Calgary Zoo are thoroughly assessing the fencing of the African Savannah Yard to ensure the safety of the wildlife under their care. Necessary modifications will be made to prevent such tragic outcomes for the animals in the future.
Colleen Baird, the interim associate director of animal care and welfare at the zoo, shared her sentiments, stating, “Our entire zoo family is still grieving this sudden and tragic loss. From the staff and volunteers who loved and cared for her to the visitors she inspired during each visit, Emara will be deeply missed.”
Dr Doug Whiteside, another interim associate director of animal health and welfare, highlighted that Emara was in excellent health before this incident and her unexpected departure has profoundly affected everyone. The zoo is closely monitoring the remaining giraffes, Nabo and Moshi, and so far, they are doing well.
It’s important to note that the Calgary Zoo is home to a diverse range of animals, including Hartmann’s mountain zebras, ostriches, and African grey-crowned cranes. The authorities remain dedicated to the safety and well-being of all the animals under their care, and measures will be taken to prevent similar tragedies in the future.
As we remember Emara, let us cherish the memories she created and the inspiration she brought to all who had the pleasure of encountering her. May she rest in peace, forever in our hearts.