Young giraffe put down at Christchurch wildlife park

A young giraffe at Orana Wildlife Park has died after contracting a bone illness that ultimately took his life.

The Christchruch park's one-year-old giraffe, Jasiri, was euthanised on Thursday after he was diagnosed with an untreatable bone condition called avascular necrosis, zoo staff have confirmed.

Jasiri was diagnosed with the illness after breaking his leg shortly after he was born in October last year.

The park’s veterinary and animal management team made the call on Wednesday to end his life.

In a statement on their social media on Wednesday evening, staff said the condition of Jasiri’s leg began to decline recently.

“In case you didn’t know, unfortunately, Jasiri fractured his leg shortly after birth which required surgery and close monitoring from our team,” the statement said.

Staff said X-rays were taken at the time and the park’s vet consulted worldwide with specialist vet surgeons.

The conclusion was Jasiri had indeed contracted avascular necrosis, which is a condition where blood supply to the bone is restricted.

There are no treatments available for the condition.

“Having explored all options, our vet team recommended that the kindest thing for Jasiri’s welfare was that he be euthanised.”

Remembering the giraffe, staff said Jasiri made a huge impression on staff and visitors who enjoyed his “cheeky, playful behaviour”.

Staff said it was a delight to watch him toss branches around his habitat and play with his favourite stick.

“Jasiri will be greatly missed by our team, they would love for you to share any memories you have of Jasiri or photos you have taken of him while at the Park.”

Ten years ago, the park lost another giraffe in an accident - when 19-year-old Harold choked to death after inhaling regurgitated food into his lungs.

The average lifespan of a wild giraffe is 20-25 years, but animals in captivity can live as long as 28 years.

-By Nathan Morton