The Parks and Recreation Department is deeply saddened. First off because of the loss of our beloved “Jay” the giraffe. Secondly, because of the unfounded accusations that have been made by some of the “uninformed” citizens of Clovis. We realize that it is human nature to make quick judgments before knowing all of the facts to a story.
Both giraffes have access to a heated barn that they can readily access at will. The heating system used is a full sized furnace, not just a little space heater. When Jay was discovered at 7:30 a.m., he was lying on the ground with a gash in his head that was bleeding. Jay was a big animal standing 16 feet tall and weighing 2,000 pounds. When an animal that big falls and hits the ground, it is prone to suffer injuries. It is our belief that Jay’s head injury was caused by falling and hitting his head on the fence as was evidenced by the blood that was left as a result.
The zoo has a full-time care taker who lives on the grounds. If the care taker had been there at the exact moment that Jay fell, he would not have been able to stop the fall. The same result would have occurred in that Jay fell and hit his head, suffering head trauma. The zoo staff and veterinarians worked continuously for seven hours straight to get Jay back up on his feet, but were unsuccessful. The only humane option was to put him down.
For those of you who blame the zookeepers, let us state that you will not find a more knowledgeable, caring, and selfless group of people. We know of many, many occasions where personnel have spent money out of their own pockets and their own off time to provide the little extra comforts for the animals. These animals are their family.
The zoo is a part of this community and is a charge taken very seriously. It is inspected regularly by the USDA who has strict guidelines that are enforced and adhered to.
Again, we are deeply saddened by the unfortunate loss. We will miss “Jay”!