Safari Update – March 2018

12th March 2017

It is with sadness we announce the death of Rigsby our 16 yr old giraffe.

Rigsby’s health had deteriorated suddenly earlier last week, and despite the work of our expert vets and keepers he passed away on Tuesday 7th March.

Rigsby had been a firm favourite with keepers and visitors since he arrived at Knowsley Safari from Chester Zoo in 2002.

A post mortem and further analysis is underway with results still to be concluded. However, what we do already know, is that Rigsby had been under observation by the vet for dental problems for a few months. Herbivores like giraffes will eat almost continuously. When they have tooth problems it can change the way they chew and process their food, and how much energy they can absorb from it. In giraffes this leads to dramatic fluctuations in their blood glucose level which in some cases can cause sudden and unexpected deaths.

We’re sure that our visitors and members will be as saddened by this news as the team here and will want to know more so we have tried to answer some questions below for your information.

 

Questions & Answers

Was Rigsby born at Knowsley Safari?

No Rigsby was born at Chester zoo and came to Knowsley in 2002.

How often was Rigsby checked?

Keepers monitor all of the animals on a daily basis and they have regular checks by our Vet.

Were there any warning signs?

Rigsby had been under investigation by the vet for dental problems for a few months. Herbivores like giraffes will eat almost continuously. When they have tooth problems it can change the way they chew and process their food, and how much energy they can absorb from it. In giraffes this leads to dramatic fluctuations in their blood glucose level which in some cases can cause sudden and unexpected deaths.

Are the other giraffes ok?

Our other Giraffes do not have dental problems and therefore are unlikely to be affected.

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