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The Hamilton Zoo team is heartbroken to share that today (Thursday 1 February) we said goodbye to Ndale, our 19-year-old giraffe. Ndale passed away after an accidental fall that took place overnight, following a general check-up procedure undertaken yesterday.

On Wednesday 31 January, Ndale was placed under anaesthesia to undertake a number of essential health procedures including dental treatment. Head Veterinarian Richard Sim said “Ndale was a geriatric giraffe, trained to allow keepers to get blood samples. Based on an initial assessment from blood samples it showed he was in a good condition to undertake the procedure”.

“The Zoo team were really happy with how the procedure went and we were able to fix a number of concerns we had for his health. Anaesthesia in such a tall, big animal is never without risk, but he was moving around and acting normal by the end of the day”.

“Unfortunately, at first check this morning he was found on the ground unable to stand. The Zoo team responded quickly to support Ndale, make him more comfortable and were able to get him on his feet. With signs of weakness, he later collapsed, stopped breathing and passed away”.

Ndale has been a beloved part of the Hamilton Zoo family since he was one year old and will be dearly missed by all. This includes his herd mates Masamba and Dume, the two remaining male giraffes at Hamilton Zoo. Team Leader Eddie Cheadle said the team is devastated.

“Ndale was many of the keepers’ favourite as he was such a chilled-out giraffe who was friendlier than most. We are in a bit of shock at his sudden departure and we will miss him a lot”.

“Ndale was the giraffe that was most comfortable with keepers at the zoo and holds a special place in many of our hearts. Whether through spending time training him for behaviours or simply enjoying small moments with him during the day, he has impacted many of us and will be sorely missed.”


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