Oh my god. In a tragic case of twisted timing, hours after I wrote the blog post telling “Nana” to go see our two beautiful baby giraffes, our youngest, Kipenzi had a freak accident and died. It made national news so you may have seen it and thought, I hope that’s not the same baby that accidental texan was blogging about! Kipenzi was 15 weeks old and the sweetest, most beautiful, graceful, charming baby giraffe I’ve ever met. Her father is very gregarious and she was typically rambunctious as baby giraffes tend to be. Sweet girl didn’t quite know how to use her legs and neck well enough to keep up with her energy and as the giraffe herd was being shifted from the habitat yard to the barn last evening, she playfully made a sharp turn, hit her head and died instantly of a broken neck.
Because I am an insider, I recieved the news via email last night at 9:00 pm. I don’t know if I screamed or what, but my husband was suddenly standing behind me holding my shoulders. I had spent half hour at the end of my shift yesterday watching sweet Kipenzi and her mother peacefully roam in their habitat together and then next thing I knew the baby girl was dead.
Zoo staff and volunteers, especially the giraffe keepers, are utterly devastated. Our CEO recognized the depth of the pain and hired grief counselors free of charge to anyone who works at the zoo, paid or unpaid. Classy guy.
I would post pictures of Kipenzi, but I can’t look at them yet. I’ve only just finished crying and it’s been less than 24 hours since I got the bad news.
I had this strange feeling this morning. I saw Nana at the giraffe exhibit from a distance when I was there after my shift. She was asking the volunteer there question after question and I could tell by her body language that her questions were about Kipenzi. I wonder if they went together yesterday.