Amber the Giraffe, the oldest living Masai giraffe in North America, has died at the ripe old age of 26 after having long outlived her expected 17-year lifespan.
Amber lived at Roger Williams Park Zoo & Carousel Village, a 40-acre animal park in Providence, Rhode Island. She had been ailing for many years, stricken with arthritis and cataracts, the latter of which left her blind.
No other zoo in the world had ever had to manage a blind giraffe, so the staff at Roger Williams Park Zoo developed its own plan to care for their its beloved giant.
Though there was a period of trial and error, eventually the staff managed to devise ways to help Amber live a good life despite not being able to see—a condition which would be deadly in the wild.
The staff supplemented Amber’s diet with a kind of giraffe chow consisting of alfalfa hay, dandelion greens, and herbivore pellets.
We're glad to be a leader in our field as one of the first Zoo's in the country to try acupuncture on a giraffe! 🦒♥️ https://t.co/c3oByY3Ll5
— RWP Zoo (@RWPZoo) June 28, 2017
Zoo staff even brought in an acupuncturist to try to help Amber with her arthritis.
— Anthony Vega (@avegaABC6) July 14, 2017
Eventually, it became clear that Amber could no longer enjoy life.
“Based on the decline of Amber’s overall health in recent weeks the veterinary and animal care staff decided to euthanize her humanely,” the zoo said in a statement reads.
Amber was born in Cleveland in August of 1991. She came to Roger Williams while still a calf in May of 1992. She was a favorite with zoo visitors, who enjoyed being able to hand-feed the gentle giantess.
For anyone who had the pleasure of meeting this majestic creature, please visit and feel free to post your remembrances on the Roger Williams Park Zoo & Carousel Village Facebook page.
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