June 18, 2013, Colorado Springs, CO - Cheyenne Mountain Zoo sadly announces that Becky, the Zoo’s nearly-white giraffe, passed away this morning due to complications from old age. At the advanced age of 32, she had been on a quality-of-life watch for about a year and a half.  

On Tuesday morning, June 18, 2013 just after 7 a.m., animal keepers noticed that Becky was having difficulties in her indoor exhibit. After a comprehensive examination, staff veterinarians made the humane decision to euthanize her.

Becky was the gentlest giraffe in the Zoo’s herd, and also the most recognizable.

“Becky was the nearly-white giraffe that many guests asked about right away,” Jason Bredahl, Animal Care Manager said. “She wasn’t white due to aging. She was simply unique. Our guests loved to single her out to feed her giraffe crackers and lettuce. It’s amazing to think about the thousands, and possibly hundreds of thousands, of guests who have fond memories of her. ”

A favorite to many, Becky the giraffe will be missed by Zoo staff and guests.

“She was a wonderful ambassador for her species,” Bredahl said. “She was also a calming influence for many giraffes in our herd. When our new African Rift Valley exhibit was built, Becky was one of the first giraffes to enter the outdoor yard – the herd looked to her for support, and without her it would’ve taken a lot longer for them to acclimate to their new surroundings.”

Captive reticulated giraffes typically live into their mid- to late-twenties. Because of her age, animal keepers were monitoring seven key indicators of quality of life such as healthy appetite, moving normally and showing interest in her surroundings.

Becky was born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo on January 9, 1981. In her lifetime, she birthed five male and seven female calves. One of her sons, Mahali, and two of her daughters, Lakeisha and Azmera, are in Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s herd. Her other offspring are animal ambassadors at other AZA accredited zoos across the country.

The public is encouraged to celebrate Becky’s life by posting photos and memories of her on Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Facebook page, To allow staff to grieve the loss of our beloved giraffe, Becky, we will not be offering interviews at this time.


About Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society was founded in 1926. Today, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s ONLY mountain zoo, offers comprehensive education programs, exciting conservation efforts and truly fantastic animal experiences. It is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s hope that guests fall in love with animals and nature, and take action to protect them. Of the 224 zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of just nine operating without tax support. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo depends on admissions, membership dues and donations for funding.

For further information or unique press opportunities, contact:

Erica Meyer
Phone: 719.633.9925 ext. 140 

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