OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — An elderly giraffe famous for sporting a custom-made coat to weather the winter cold has died.
Oakland Zoo officials said Tiki, which is short for T'Keyah, was suffering from ringbone arthritis and other medical issues and was euthanized Nov. 2. She was one of the oldest living giraffes in captivity.
The grandmother was 28 years old, or about 95 in "giraffe years." She was born at the zoo.
Tiki was outfitted with a custom-made coat in 2008 when she was already considered geriatric by giraffe standards. Her bones ached and she needed extra protection to socialize with herd mates outside her heated barn.
Zoo staff described Tiki as gentle and patient, and said she vastly expanded researchers' understanding of giraffe behavior and intelligence.