(8-7-22) The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo lost patriarch and beloved giraffe, Jelani on August 6, 2022. The animal care and veterinary teams made a comprehensive assessment of his overall well being and made the difficult decision to euthanize him on Saturday when it became clear he would not recover.

Jelani, known as a gentle giant who loved attention, celebrated his 24th birthday this week on August 3. Jelani moved to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in May 1999 from Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. He was an important member of our herd as he sired 6 calves and his offspring marked three generations of giraffe with ties to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.

Head Zoo Vet, Dr. Kami Fox

“Jelani was suffering from neurological abnormalities that quickly worsened over a short time. Although we were treating for any potential causes, his welfare became compromised and he was humanely euthanized, surrounded by many that cared for him.”

From zoo officials-

We share this heartbreak with our animal care professionals, who cared for him daily. We thank them for their outstanding work, not only with Jelani, but with all the animals here at the Zoo. We appreciate the support of the community as we grieve his loss together.