According to reports, the giraffe was being handled by inexperienced trainers which led to it developing a panic attack and dying after falling into a ditch.

Giraffe suffocates to death at Chennais Vandalur zoo inexpert handlers to blameImage courtesy: DTnext
news Animal Cruelty Saturday, April 07, 2018 - 09:49

A 20-year-old male giraffe died at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur, Chennai on Thursday night. According to zoo officials, Rahman asphyxiated to death after falling into a ditch with water in his enclosure.

“Rahman, a 20-year-old giraffe, fell into an eight-foot deep trench inside its enclosure and suffered serious injuries. The zoo’s animal keepers used a crane to hoist the animal out. It was then shifted to the zoo hospital, where the doctors declared the animal dead at 11.50 p.m.,” zoo officials stated as per a report in The Hindu.

According to other reports, the giraffe was allegedly pelted with stones by animal keepers to force it into its caged enclosure. The senior animal keeper, trained to handle the giraffe, was reportedly on leave on Thursday and the junior staff were trying to get the animal into the cage, a report in Deccan Chronicle states.

“Since both the regular handlers of the giraffe were not on duty on Thursday, other forest staff in-charge of elephants and lions were roped in to keep a watch on the animal. At dusk, the staff attempted to usher the animal to its night shelter. The animal which was unfamiliar with the handlers did not cooperate to move into its enclosure,” a DTnext report quoted a zoo official.  

Sensing danger, the animal allegedly jumped into a ditch filled with water. Following this, the staff informed the zoo officials who tried to lift the animal using ropes and rubber tubes. After this failed, it was hauled out using a crane. However, Rahman was already dead by the time he was taken out from the ditch, the report stated.

According to zoo officials, the animal died from asphyxia and regurgitation (indigestion) due to stress.

Giraffes, like deer, are very sensitive animals and attempts made by the animal to bolt from trainers or people trying to drive it into an enclosure, which is referred to as "flight response”, can prove to be fatal, according to a TOI report.

Rahman was brought from the Alipore Zoo in West Bengal in 1998. The zoo has a 22-year-old female giraffe, Ayesha. Both animals were brought to Vandalur as part of the animal exchange program. 

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