On January 20, Ginetta, the world's oldest living giraffe passed away in Toronto.
Born in 1983, she was named after Ginetta Barbero, the wife of the chairman then of the Metro Toronto Zoo. The family was heartbroken to learn of her death, believing the zoo will never find another giraffe so especially good and wise.
Ginetta, a Masai giraffe, was known by zookeepers as a kind and loving mother who gave birth to five calves, has ten grandkids, and seven great grandkids.
Female giraffes give birth standing up with their babies falling more than 5 feet to the ground when born. It takes about 1/2 hour for the baby to stand and just a short ten hours before they can actually run with their mothers.
Last August Ginetta publicly celebrated her 30th birthday with a gelatin cake of carrots, apples, and browse (tender shoots, twigs, and leaves of trees and shrubs).
When she started to have difficulty eating, zookeepers had to start “wetting her hay and feeding her a gruel of sweet feed and vegetables.” Strangely enough, her favorite food was onions.
Upon her death, zoo officials stated that giraffes can live 20-25 years in the wild, and Ginetta lived longer than 96 percent of female Masai giraffes that are in captivity in North America. It was announced,
“With a heavy heart, we are sad to report that we had to say goodbye to Ginetta this afternoon. Ginetta has become a big part of our zoo family over the past 30 years and has created many lasting memories with our keepers and visitors alike.