Dallas Zoo faces criticism over transparency of giraffe deaths


The Dallas Zoo has been outspoken about the recent spate of mysterious giraffe deaths and the ongoing investigation into what is going on – but it has also led to a deluge of public criticism.

Why is this important: Zoo officials still don’t know what led to the death of Auggie, 19, or Jesse, 14, noting that giraffes may have been exposed to a toxin in their habitat, food or perhaps a foreign object.

  • A 3-month-old giraffe named Marekani was also euthanized at the zoo last month after suffering a catastrophic knee injury inside the habitat.

The last: Autopsies indicated that the two adult giraffes died of liver complications, but the zoo is still awaiting a variety of other lab tests. Zoo officials have enlisted the help of experts from across the country.

  • The other giraffes have been isolated and show no symptoms. “We hope that will be contained,” Dallas Zoo vice president of marketing and communications Kari Streiber told Axios.

What they say : Zoo employees noted harsh comments, especially on social media.

  • “People forget that there are humans on the other side of the keyboard and the screen,” Streiber said. “The hardest part is when you have an animal team or a vet team working their butt, these people are dealing with these comments as well.”

To note : The Dallas Zoo grew several young giraffes into healthy adults. Baby giraffes in the wild have a survival rate of around 50%.

Between the lines: After animal rights activists have successfully pushed for changes in institutions like SeaWorld and leading traveling circuses, zoo ethics is the next moral debate on the table.

  • The Dallas Zoo has been at the forefront of the national debate.
  • His YouTube page contains a series of videos exploring “Why zoos are important. “

Our thought bubble: Transparency is almost always the right way to go, even in the event of a backfire.

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