Autopsies from two giraffes that died last weekend at the Lodz Zoo in Poland indicated that they were literally scared to death by vandals. It’s a sad situation that was discovered when the Zoo opened on Monday. The staff found the giraffes after they had died of a heart attack related to a sudden stress situation.
“The autopsy of the first giraffe, three-year-old female, found a ruptured heart valve and bruising, a sign of a severe stress reaction,” the zoo’s deputy director Wlodzimierz Stanislawski told AFP.
Local authorities reported that the vandals had broken into the zoo and destroyed benches, signs and statues around the park and even tossed debris into some of the animal’s enclosures.
“Giraffes are extremely timid. Stress causes a flight response in them. They react the same way to every unusual noise,” said Stanislawski.
Both giraffes are of the Rothschild subspecies, which is currently listed as an endangered species, and the zoo had been working on finding mates for its now lone 6-year-old male giraffe to try to increase the population.
Authorities were trying their best to find the vandals responsible for the incidents which has been handicapped by the fact the zoo had no video surveillance systems in place.
Rothschild Giraffe Endangered List
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature say the Rothschild’s giraffe, one of nine recognized giraffe sub-species, now numbers fewer than 670 animals in the wild. There are less than 470 individuals in Uganda and Kenya, with an unknown number in southern Sudan. The Endangered listing is based on a new assessment by giraffe specialists Julian Fennessy and Rick Brenneman.