One of world's oldest giraffes dies at Ala. zoo

AP News
Posted: Dec 30, 2009 11:08 AM

The Birmingham Zoo says one of the oldest giraffes in the world has died at age 24.

Zoo officials say the giraffe, named Morefu (mo-RAY'-foo), was euthanized after veterinarians determined he was no longer responding to medications for arthritis and other health conditions related to age.

Giraffes typically have a lifespan of about 13 years, but can live up to 25 years in captivity.

Morefu, whose name is the Swahili word for long, arrived at the zoo in 1985. He was 18 feet tall and weighed about 2,140 pounds.

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The Birmingham News reports that the International Species Information System, a data-collection organization serving zoos and aquariums, listed Morefu as the oldest male giraffe in North America.