Oakland Zoo mourns death of beloved giraffe

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The Oakland Zoo is mourning the death of one of its giraffes.

Benghazi Giraffe, also known as Ben, was born at the Oakland Zoo back in 1996.

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"With his confident personality, he was often first in line to meet new people," said Lead Giraffe Keeper Jessica Chapman in a statement released by the Zoo. "He was also our resident artist, and his paintings were often auctioned to support giraffe conservation in the wild."

According to the statement, Ben had been receiving treatment during the past year "for the sacrum and lower back injuries that likely occurred while he was getting up or lying down from sleeping."

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"We did all we could," Chapman said in the statement. "Chiropractic treatments, medication, laser treatments, and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy. Unfortunately, this type of injury is not reversible, and Benghazi's mobility declined."

Chapman said Ben's quality of life was suffering to the point that, "walking his habitat became more and more a challenge for him and lying down was especially taxing" so he was humanely euthanized on Wednesday.

"Benghazi brought love and happiness to so many, and he will be deeply missed," Chapman said.
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