Texas, a 27-year-old reticulated giraffe, died Thursday morning at the Reid Park Zoo. She was euthanized when staff determined that her quality of life was greatly reduced, due to age-related health problems.

"Texas," a 27-year-old giraffe and one of Reid Park Zoo's most senior animals, died Thursday morning, zoo officials said.

The reticulated giraffe, who had been under special medical care due to age-related health issues, was euthanized after zoo staff determined that her quality of life had significantly declined, said zoo spokeswoman Kristen Metzger.

Texas was born in Texas in 1989 and came to Reid Park Zoo that same year. She has given birth to five offspring, all of whom live at other zoos across the country, Metzger said.

During the past several months, zookeepers had been hand-feeding Texas her medications, training her to be comfortable with basic medical procedures and spending extra time monitoring her. Recently, she had shown signs of decreased appetite, low energy and reduced strength, Metzger said.

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The median life expectancy for a female giraffe is 19 years.

The zoo has no immediate plans to replace Texas with another giraffe, and the other three giraffes remain on exhibit.

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at cschmidt@tucson.com or 573-4191


I'm a watchdog reporter covering local government, the University of Arizona and sports investigations.