Local News

33-year-old giraffe dies at N.C. Zoo

Posted September 14, 2010

— The North Carolina Zoo lost one of it oldest and best-known residents late Monday when Julie, a 33-year-old female giraffe, died.

Julie was the second-oldest giraffe in captivity.

Zoo keepers found the 15-foot-tall animal dead when they arrived for work Tuesday morning. A necropsy determined that cancerous growths at the base of Julie's heart ruptured the giraffe's aorta, officials said.

In recent months, Julie's health had deteriorated, and zoo officials used a closed-circuit television camera to monitor the animal during the evenings. Julie appeared to be fine on the camera at about 10:30 p.m. Monday, officials said.

Julie was born in March 1977 at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fla., and was transferred to the N.C. Zoo in July 1979.

The N.C. Zoo’s other giraffes – three males and a female ranging in age from 2½ to 3 years – remain on exhibit and in good health, officials said. A 1-year-old female giraffe is expected to arrive in Asheboro in November from Zoo Miami.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • saywhaaaaat Sep 16, 2010

    awwww.... : (

  • braddavis Sep 15, 2010

    JKKC - You are right about that! She lived so long in a cage!!! Which is like jail!!! She truely is in a much better place!

    Have you been to the zoo.......acres upon acres to roam, no predators to kill you, food, water, medicine provided......yeh, I'd say she was caged!! really????.........

  • rroutput Sep 14, 2010

    Which part of "33-year-old giraffe dies at N.C. Zoo" was difficult to understand?

  • countrygurl1557 Sep 14, 2010


  • rroutput Sep 14, 2010

    Average life of a giraffe is 20-25 years in the wild. I'm glad Julie had a nice long life, was loved and appreciated by many, and did not have the stress of lion dodging that her ancestors probably did :) Rest well girl.

  • EricaSliver Sep 14, 2010

    Rest Peacefully, Julie Giraffe... you will be missed!

  • etsisk Sep 14, 2010

    Julie did NOT "live so long in a cage" - she had a lot of moving around room, "trees" she could graze off of and lots of good company. I volunteered at the feeding station last year and it was really great to see them there.

  • ORMA Sep 14, 2010

    Wow JKKC, I did not realize that those habitats were considered cages. Heaven forbid she actually get medical care regularly and food and water regularly. I wonder if you can say the same about members of your family? Those animals are cared for better than most of the people I know.

  • mamarhew Sep 14, 2010

    To JKKC, that is a "sick" remark.

  • LovinMyLife Sep 14, 2010

    JKKC - You are right about that! She lived so long in a cage!!! Which is like jail!!! She truely is in a much better place!