Mourning our beloved Kipenzi

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(UPDATED JULY 31)

We’re overwhelmed by the love you’ve shown today for our little Kipenzi, and to our grieving staff. Because you’ve asked a few specific questions, we wanted to answer them here for you.

1. Are you reviewing what happened? Yes. We are conducting a very thorough review of the incident down to the smallest detail, to examine every aspect and ensure that every opinion is heard. While some members of the media have used the word “investigation,” we believe this implies that we have to figure out what happened, or assign blame, and this is not the case. We were fully staffed and they witnessed every moment except the exact second she hit the wall, so we know what happened; no policies or procedures appear to be violated. However, what we WILL do now, with relentless focus, is examine the accident from every angle to look for ways to keep this from happening again. No one wants to prevent this more than our staff.
2. Will you change the habitat? At this time, we have no plans to do so. The habitat is a world-class design that sets a standard that zoos around the world have followed. Kip was in the smaller area of the Giants of the Savanna because it was safer for her than the big space, where she could get up more speed and would have had to avoid more obstacles, including other animals. This was a tragic, heartbreaking accident, nothing more.
3. Then how was she injured? Calves of all species, from horses to cows to giraffes and gerenuks, love to run around wildly. (Like toddlers.) We can’t put bubble-wrap around them, as much as we’d like to. Yesterday when the Zoo closed, the adult giraffes shifted toward the barn, but Kip and big brother Kopano wanted to play more. They chased each other through the habitat and ran in big loops around it. They got to the end of the habitat and Kopano turned the right way, but Kip instead made a sharp turn into the wall. She was a calf; she played like a calf. This type of thing can happen with any hoofstock, cows and horses included – and in the wild, where giraffes will stumble into depressions, fall, and calves run into trees or even another giraffe.
4. How could that hurt her so badly? A necropsy by our veterinary team this morning confirmed that Kip died from a broken neck – again, unfortunately, not an uncommon injury in giraffes, simply because of the long, slender way their necks are built.
5. Should she have been allowed to run, and was the habitat too small? We were very cautious about allowing Kip (and Kopano and Jamie before her) to grow into the larger yards slowly. Yesterday was no different than any other day since May 1, when Kipenzi first went out. She had been exploring and running in that yard for three months, and that’s essential to her growth and development. We couldn’t pen her up in a small area, despite the risk that she might fall or run into something. However, she was in the feeding yard because it was overall a safer place for her – the large Savanna would have been much riskier. So she was in her “baby gate” kind of place when this unfortunate, freak accident occurred.
6. How are the keepers? Our whole staff, especially our giraffe team, is devastated. We all deeply loved Kipenzi, as you did, and are grieving. However, our team is dedicated, devoted and strong, and we have other animals to care for through our tears. Everyone came to work Wednesday, and even some who were off came in to be here with their colleagues. We brought in counselors to help staffers, too. We have received many condolence gifts, from food to flowers and beautiful artwork, and we appreciate that more than you know.
7. How is Katie, Kip’s mom? Katie is eating normally and is finding comfort from her best giraffe friends, Auggie and Jade. She remains in the barn with a private yard while keepers monitor her closely to be sure she continues to do well. She’ll go back into the large habitat when she indicates that she’s ready.
8. Is the rest of the herd mourning? They are acting normally. Giraffes, while social animals, aren’t as emotionally connected with each other as some other animals, like elephants, primates and whales. In the wild, they must constantly be on alert for predators, so they are hard-wired to move on quickly after the loss of a calf.
9. What happened at the Zoo the next day? Operations were completely normal, and the giraffe herd was out in both areas of the habitat. Nothing was different because this doesn’t seem to be a mistake or an error on anyone’s part. It was a terrible accident, and a not-uncommon one in hoofstock.
10. Will there be a memorial at the Zoo for Kipenzi? We are definitely considering how to best honor her memory. Because she was such a remarkable ambassador for her species and for conservation – helping to raise more than $35,000 for our partner in Africa, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation – we chose to first suggest donations to that group. (Donate here: www.giraffeconservation.org) We need time to figure out what other memorial we wish to set up, but we will keep you posted here.
11. Will you have more giraffe calves? We are part of the national Species Survival Plan for giraffes, and will continue to breed when recommended.
12. What is Kip’s legacy? Kipenzi was undoubtedly the most recognized giraffe in the world, and her birth live on Animal Planet captivated millions. From the anticipation of her arrival to her first moments standing and her introduction into the Savanna habitat, Kip continued to melt hearts and bring attention to her species, whose population in the wild has been reduced significantly in recent years. The supportive emails, tweets and Facebook posts we’ve received and responded to throughout Kip’s life could fill volumes – she truly was a household name, and people connected with her deeply.

When you voted for her name online, you were given an opportunity to donate to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. Those donations raised $35,000 to help protect her “cousins” in Africa. Following her passing, Kip continues to bring awareness to her endangered species, and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation has been flooded with more donations in her honor to help the plight of giraffes. Kip’s gave the public a front-row seat into the delivery and care of giraffes, all while inspiring conversations about what we all can do to save them in the wild. We’ve heard from parents whose children were enthralled with seeing a live animal birth right from their living room, classrooms who started research projects on giraffes in the wild, and guests who flew across the country to see the giraffe who was an inspiration for all ages – the stories are incredible. We will always cherish the light Kip was to so many, and her role as an ambassador for conservation will not be forgotten.

13. Will you continue to update us? Yes, of course. We appreciate your support so much. And we operate from a position of transparency, because we’re proud of the work we do and how we provide for animals in our care. We will respond as much as we can, but please understand that given the enormous outpouring of love, it is difficult to respond individually. But know that we are reading every single comment, and that they are helping us get through this difficult time.

Categories: Africa, Conservation, Giraffe, Media, Social Media, Zookeepers | Tags: , , , | 63 Comments

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63 thoughts on “Mourning our beloved Kipenzi

  1. Beth Harris

    Continued prayers of comfort for you all. Thank you for allowing so many of us who grew to love little Kipinzi mourn with you!

    • Stephanie
      In Memorium
      I am sorry Katie.
      The Apple of your Eye has tragically passed away.
      A senseless accident has taken away your little Darling.
      So filled with life,this loss has brought sadness to the thousands of people who watched her com into the world.
      A gangly youngster who captivated the hearts of many.
      Too early, she was taken away.
      We read the same story in the newspapers every day-the accidental loss of some dear, beloved one.
      Kippie was just as loved.
      Every care was given to her and she brought smiles to the young and the old who came to watch her join her new giraffe family.
      I am sorry her life was cut short.
      I am happy, Katie,that your keepers let you say good-bye to her so you would not keep looking for your lost baby.
      I feel blessed to have gotten to know you both and hope you will recover from this loss, and, maybe, some day have another little one to love.
      I appreciate the work Zoos all over the country have done to help giraffes and other species survive.
      To me, little Kippie will always be The Loved One, and the memory of her will remain in my heart forever.
      Thank you, Animal Planet, for making it possible to get to know Katie and her baby.
      And thank you to all the keepers who tend to the giraffes every day of the year.
      Although Kippie’s life was short, she will be forever be remembered with love.
      Thank you, Dallas Zoo, for letting me share this experience.

      Sincerest condolences, Stephanie Goldstein and daughter Valerie

  2. Zejnep

    My deepest sympathies to all at the Dallas Zoo! Kipenzi really was a very special little giraffe. Waiting for her birth, and during the month after which you so graciously shared with the world, I saw an absolutely excellent level of care for the giraffes in every respect. No one who knows anything about giraffe could possibly find fault with anyone at your zoo, or with your facilities. I hope Katie will have other calves and better luck. She’s a great mother.

  3. Melissa Ratkovich

    Thank you for sharing Kip with us, especially for those of too far to take a quick trip to see her. We raise livestock and understand loss. It’s difficult no matter if they are young or old. We’ve lost beloved goats (Boer) that devastated us. We share your grief and hope you know we will help carry the burden. I worried about Katie but like I told my boys, instinct kicks in and wild moms can’t afford to linger due to predators. I’m sure Katie will be fine and a great mom again. Thinking of you all.
    The Ratkovich Family
    San Andreas, CA

  4. sandy spencer

    Thank you for so much Information. So kind of you to keep us updated in a time when all are mourning, especially the DZ. We noticed you have removed videos and hope you will put them back up in time. Thank you for all you do God Bless. we miss Kippy!! <3

  5. Julie Peterson

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to your entire staff as you grieve the loss of your beautiful calve.

    Lots of love from your friends at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

  6. Barbara Wicker

    My deepest sympathy goes to the Dallas Zoo, it’s staff and of course the giraffe nation. A terrible and tragic accident with a devastating loss. I saw a video last night of Kipenski that showed her doing a lot of running around, frolicking and having fun (ran into another giraffe that kinda jumped up) and she also stepped off a curb in the water. It of course played some things more than once, but it was so fun to watch. Do you know where that video is as I would like to save it and watch it now and then. Thanks so much. RIP Kipenzi.

  7. Heidi Holguin

    Thanks for all this good information. I am heartbroken about baby Kip and for all the keepers! I’m glad y’all are all supporting one another!

  8. Kathy Jo

    I am grieving for our little baby girl. I lived and breathed Kipenzi For weeks while on the live steam on Animal Planet. She will be greatly missed. Our own zoo in Fort Wayne IN just had their own baby giraffe a few weeks ago. He is adorable as well. I ask for your blessing to make a donation to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in Kipenzi’s name, as my grandchildren will grow up loving our little boy giraffe. My heart goes out to all of you at the Dallas Zoo.

  9. Cathy Dugan

    My heart goes out to everyone at the Dallas Zoo. Katie and Kipenzi touched everyone’s heart and we are all grieving with you. I posted this little poem I wrote late last night on the Dallas Zoo Facebook page, but thought I would also post it here. Just some thoughts I put into words on how we all became attached to this special little girl.

    For Kipenzi

    It was the 10th of April two thousand fifteen
    A blessed event was about to be seen
    With the help of Animal Planet at the Dallas Zoo
    Millions of people were about to view
    Katie give birth to a beautiful calf.
    We watched her drop to the ground
    There were cheers and tears all around
    She finally stood on wobbly legs
    They were nothing more than little pegs
    We watched her grow in her birthing stall
    And wow did she grow tall
    She finally was able to go outside
    And walked and ran with so much pride
    Kipenzi is this little one’s name
    And such a beauty that came with fame
    One day she ran way too fast
    She fell and this miracle was not to last
    The keepers and others at Dallas Zoo
    Are heartbroken as many others are too
    You will always be in our hearts to stay
    We will think about you every day

    Kipenzi – 4/10/15-7/28/15

  10. Linda Vandiver

    I watched her birth live and fell in love with her immediately. I’m mourning her loss as I know your staff is also. I never got to see her in person since I live about 2 hours away. I hope you will continue to partner with Animal Planet and show us more births. Prayers being said for your staff, especially those who worked daily with her.

  11. Kim Woodruff

    I stumbled across a post on Facebook about a giraffe being born LIVE on TV . I quickly found the channel, called to my 3 teenage BOYS to come watch & there she was front legs & head out . We watched so intensely as she came into this world . It was love at first sight for us . Well at least me , and my middle boy. We were cheering her on at every attempt to stand . Even gasping at the face plants . We watched the staff, so patiently waiting , and could tell how well loved this little GIRL would be.
    The news of her passing yesterday BROKE my heart . I had just watched the video of her playing with her POSSE watching over her. She was so SPUNKY ! I loved the way she would jump around and not walk the straight line . I loved her so . That little GIRL!

  12. Kimberly Turner

    My thoughts have been with the staff and the herd all day.(I even Googled the Dallas News to see how you all were.) Thank you so much for taking the time to answer so many questions in the midst of your grief. Your Love for the herd and each other shines through. Katie is in the best hands possible, just as Kipenzi was. Kipenzi was such a confident little girl, not to mention a little sassy (I mean that in the cutest and adorable kind of way). She was a bright light in a world that often makes me shake my head. She gave us the opportunity to smile, giggle and observe the absolute best the world has to give. You all will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart,
    Kimberly Turner

  13. Angela Deschacht

    Thank you Laurie holloway for answering these questions about the tragic accident involving Kipenzi.
    R.I.P Kipenzi gone but will never be forgotten she will always be in our hearts

  14. Janet D Kozlik

    like so many others, i am so so sad…. i cried and cried and cried….after Kipenzi was born, i was so in love with her and her momma. i bought a giraffe case for my phone and put giraffe stickers on my printer at work… i will now be getting Kipenzi’s name tattooed on my wrist… will send pics when its done… my Thoughts and Prayers to her team and the whole Dallas Zoo Family… she is dearly missed…

  15. Chris Huth

    My wife and I watched the birth of this wonderful girl and have been following her from day one. We are so very sorry to all the staff at your zoo. We wish you all the best and hope that your able to heal quickly from this horrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers to everyone.

  16. Paula Dixon

    My prayers are with everyone at Dallas Zoo. My heart is broken for sweet Kipenzi. I like thousands of others became mesmerized with her after watching her birth. I had my iPad on my desk everyday at work when Animal Planet was streaming her day to day progress. I simply couldn’t miss a minute of it.
    I have her picture framed and sitting on my desk at work. It’s amazing how much I fell in love with her.
    I can’t believe this has happened. I miss her.
    Thank you for sharing Kipenzi with us.

  17. Shannon

    Thank you for all you do. Know that in her shirt time here she was loved enough for three lifetimes. Please keep up the amazing work.

  18. Peggy Moritz

    Thank you so much for the updates and answers to questions. Just keeping in touch with all of you at the zoo is a great comfort to me and the thousands of followers around the world who cherished and loved dear little Kipenzi. Sending healing prayers and thoughts for all the staff at the Dallas Zoo and Katie.

  19. Pamela Lemoine

    my heart hurts for u all and for Katie I watched her be born and have follow her I am so upset I never got to see her in person u are all in my thoughts & prayers

  20. Penny Perkins

    My heart aches with sadness as I’m sure yours does too. There are no words to express how grateful I am that you were able to share this wonderful gift of this creature’s life. Prayers and love to you all.

    Penny Perkins
    California

  21. Mary Diel

    Thank you for all the information on Q&A page
    Again all my prayers to the staff and giraffes

  22. Sabrina Kresha

    I live in California and happened to be watching Animal Planet the night Kipenzi was born. We were so captivated watching a giraffe be born live on tv. We instantly grab our phones and started following the Dallas Zoo on instagram. Kipenzi and you the staff have touched many people. Although the loss of Kipenzi is devastating always remember all the good she has done in her short time with you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you

  23. Michelle Huth

    My family and I are Hugh fans of Animal Planet and happened to be watching Tree masters when our show was interrupted for Katie giving birth. We watched with excitement non stop till the show was done. I happened to be laid up with knee injury and spent the next few weeks hooked on the live feed 24/7 I was even watching when the keepers came on with signs saying it’s a girl. I was so hooked! I even participated in naming her (kip was my choice too). I was bumbed when the live feed ended. This morning my son who’s visiting his father called me crying that Kip died. I was quick to join him. My husband and I were just talking about her last night (ironically when she died) I have not been able to stop thinking about her. I just wanted you all to know how much I am praying for you during this emotional time. I loved her and heartbroken I can’t imagine how all of those who have cared for her must feel. Love and prayers to you all!
    Michelle

  24. Karen McWhorter

    I cried when I heard the news. But I want to thank you all for letting us experience her live birth. It was amazing and exciting. Please continue to do these kinds of live feeds. It is so educational. Again, I am so sorry for your loss but very proud of everyone who took such good care of her.

  25. christy meyer

    My husband and I watched the birth on t.v. It was amazing and I have really enjoyed seeing little updates about her and photos. I am sure you all fell in love with her immediately and I am so very sorry for your loss. So sad.

  26. Roxanne Anderson

    I am so sorry for your loss. I so enjoyed watching Kipenzi at birth and after. What a precious calf. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  27. Carrie

    So very sad–like so many others I watched her birth & everyday she was on line- I pray for the people that took care of her every day! Must be terrible for them. The pain will never leave but it
    will decrease. Hold each other close! Thanks for allowing us to be part of this wonderful blessings
    life! God bless you all!

  28. Shelia B.

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I know how attached you get to the animals you care for. I use to work at the Dakota Zoo as a zookeeper, and I knew every animal I cared for and loved them all (most of the time). After I was gone for a while and found out that one of my favorite spider monkeys died, I was devastated! And the same when they had to euthanize the 2 Alaskan Brown Bears (because of old age & declining health). Each one held a special place in my heart, and still do. And it’s been quite a few years since I’ve been there. My deepest sympathy goes out to you.

  29. Michele Bishop

    I really am understanding, right now about the feelings of the staff who was with her all the time. It hurts me terribly so I can only imagine how devastated you the staff are. I was telling a friend today that we all need grief counseling. But I know you guys really must need it. I find it amazing how that little girl could make thousands of people just fall down on there knees and cry. I still am numb. We love you Dallas Zoo. Thanks for sharing her with us.

  30. Vanessa Broaten

    This is a very sad day. My condolences to all of Kip’s keepers and to Katie. It was a very special moment witnessing Kip’s birth live. Thank you for sharing her short life with the world! She will be missed!

  31. Anna

    We are so sorry for the loss of Kipenzi. Our entire family sat for hours watching her birth and waiting for her to stand and nurse. We could see the pride in all of the workers and cannot imagine how devasting this must be for all of you. I regret we didn’t get to see this gorgeous baby in person but we loved her from the moment she was born. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  32. Linda S Aultman

    Thank you.

    I am so very sorry for our loss.

  33. glo gaines

    These were my thoughts this morning. Thought you might appreciate Kipenzi’s effect on an old lady who thought she’d “been there, done that”…..

    Trying to find ways to keep moving forward today in the midst of saddness…..
    As silly as this will seem to many, I think Kipenzi’s sudden & freaky unexpected death yesterday was the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back”. I am so weepy today I don’t even want to move……
    Kipenzi was “my” giraffe………mine & 4 million others around the world….. She was born in April at the Dallas Zoo while the world watched. She “spoke” to many and brought a lot of joy as we all watched her grow and thrive.
    Circle of Life…..yesterday she got a bit rambunctious (she really seemed to love her little life), ran into the side of their enclosure, broke her neck, and mercifully, apparently died instantly. As in nature, her mom, Katy, was able to grieve over her before she had to be removed from their enclosure. Unfortunately for her worldwide followers, we are left to grieve a bit differently. We are each missing the joy she brought…….the youthful exuberance to her life…….the spirit of all things good and right….
    Yes, I’ll get through this…..after all, she was just a zoo animal in another state I was probably never going to see personally anyway, right? Well…….here’s the thing……Kipenzi reminded me that some things work. Some things are scary, but they work. They bring joy and happy expectation. They remind you that the whole world really doesn’t suck, it just seems that way sometimes. In a world full of stuffed emotion and “things gone wrong”, Kipenzi helped me see God’s Hand and reminded me that He is ultimately in control. Even her freakish death reminds me of His ultimate sustenance. But I still feel great loss. I have great joy in my memories of watching her and internet pics to remind me of her sweet beauty……..but I will miss being able to watch her grow into the regal lady she might have become.

    Prayers are with you all who were so close at hand. Your generosity at sharing your little girl made a difference. Thank you!

  34. Kim

    I am devastated by this terrible accident, as I know you at the Dallas Zoo must also be. I happened to turn to Animal Planet channel at just the right time on the day Kipenzi was born. I could not stop watching. Her birth was just beautiful, and I feel so honored to have been able to witness it live. My hearts go out to all of you there, you who were physically with Kipenzi and all of the giraffes. My deepest love and sympathy to all of you. You have all forever touched my life. Rest in peace, dear Kipenzi. You will be greatly missed.

  35. Amy Rutzen

    We are so sorry for the tragic loss of Kipenzi. I was at the zoo with my daughter the day Kipenzi made her public debut. She told everyone about seeing the “beautiful, baby giraffe with pretty eyes.” Love and hugs to all of the staff and everyone who loved her.

  36. Pamela

    Thank you so much for sharing Kipenzi with the world. And the rest of the herd as well. As we watched the live feed we not only got to know Katie and Kipenzi but some of the others as well. We mourn with you.
    I know Kippy was well cared for and loved. I still smile when I think of the name reveal by the giraffe team. I voted for the name Kipenzi.
    Thank you DZ.

  37. Ginny Slechta

    Thank you so much for sharing Kipenzi with us!! I mourn with you from Virginia! You do a wonderful job and Kippy was lucky to have all of you. Sending love and prayers to everyone!

  38. Nida Khan

    My dear dear Kipenzi, we (including our 4 yr old daughter) were so in love with you that we came to see you every 2 weeks, we fed your mama and her herd mates and just adored looking at the little baby that you were with your innocent eyes, sometimes being disciplined by your mama or just hanging with your herd. May you rest in peace free of pain and receive lots of love in heaven.

  39. Barbara Piazza

    My condolences to all the staff at Dallas Zoo. I was a constant watcher from the start and absolutely fell in love with Katie and our beloved Kipenzi. I shed tears as I read the blog. I thank you for honestly answering the big “Why or How” this accident happened. I truly got such a horrid picture of how she died and hate that mental picture but I can honestly say it was freakish. Thank you for the honesty and the chance to now be able to heal. God Bless Kipenzi and God Bless all the caring staff who allowed her to bloom however, short-lived. she will always be the dearest giraffe ever and maybe consider some sort of Monument of her so that people can always feel the connection and she will always be there………….Thank you for allowing us to see your world and gain an appreciation for what you all do. RIP Lil Kipenzi

  40. Christine Dills

    When the giraffe was still born in Greenboro zoo, they planted a tree in his honor. Maybe something as simple as planting a tree would be nice in honor or Kipenzi. I am sorry for you loss. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the keepers. May God bless and comfort you all.

  41. CAROL C EDWRDS

    Loved the small one that was sent directly from heaven to all of us I often called Kippy, “little bit”. Praying for all your Giraffe staff. She was one of a special kind from the day she was born until the day she crossed over to God’s Zoo I heaven. I will miss seeing her grow up! Blessings to all of you….. What will you all do with her body? Did you all allow Auggie and her brother to see her before you took her away?

  42. Paige Donau

    I have several wonderful pictures of Kipenzi and Katie. Can I or can you make a calendar and that money go to the “Giraffe Conservatory Foundation”??

    Deeply sadden…..

  43. Donna German

    Our hearts break for all of you. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with all the zookeepers and workers there.

  44. Riki Chovau

    Saying prayers for all involved with Kip’s loss. I watched her born and I am sad about her passing. My best to all those who take care of all the giraffes. Thoughts of to Katie & the entire Dallas Zoo.

  45. Roxann Castellano

    I love you all and my heart supports you all. I do hope that when another baby Giraffe is due perhaps animal Planet or National geographic can set up for live streaming like with Katie & Kipenzi… I send love and many hugs to you and the Giraffe herd… ❤ ❤

  46. Cindy

    I am so sorry for everyone’s loss. I watched Kip grow and watched the live cam every free moment I had. I have a deep ache in my heart knowing of her loss but I also know she was in the best of hands! Thank you for the update and prayers and thoughts to all of the zoo keepers.

  47. Abby Elliott

    Thank you Dallas Zoo for the joy and the love that you all shared with us in Kip! What a sweet baby! My heart breaks for you all and everyone she touched around the world! Thank you for your strength and compassion! Praying for all of you and sweet Katie! What a huge blessing you all have been in all of our lives! We love you!

  48. Nanci Davis

    I’m just heartbroken as I’m sure you all are…… Sooooo sorry for your loss. I watched for days to see her born and watched afterwards till you took it down. I’m beyond saddened over this news!

  49. Megan McNeill

    We are so very saddened by the loss of precious Kip. We are thinking about sweet Katie and the all staff at the zoo.

  50. Shay

    i have been ill & barely on Fb the last couple days. This is the first I am hearing of Kipenzi’s death. I am very sad & at a loss. I can’t even imaging how you all are doing!! Thanks to you all (&AnimalPlanet), I watched little Kip being born & then followed her progress – with a renewed excitement for giraffes as of a child’s! Babies, children (&any other age), walk/run/play& sometimes fall/ fall down & get hurt( or worse). I hope the public has been kind to your staff & not implied any wrong doing. Anyone who shared her entrance into this world with you, could see how much you loved her (& Katie – & the others).
    My heart goes out to your staff & her “personal keepers”. God Bless all of you!!

  51. Jamie

    I am completely devastated in the lost of our beloved Kipenzi. She brought the world together as we all anticipated her birth. How exciting it was to watch her be born, the laughter she brought to us as she learned how to stand, and her “zoomies” as we all called it as she took off in a sprint. She changed my world for the better. I looked forward to waking up in the morning and watching her and mama Katie before work, then rushing home to watch her some more after work. My heart is so broken. I know this was an accident, but this baby brought so much joy to so many. Thank you so much Dallas Zoo and Animal Planet for allowing us to be a part of Kipenzi’s life. She will never be forgotten. I love you baby girl and I miss you so much!! Much love to Katie, Auggie, Kopano, Jamie, Chrystal, the rest of the Giraffe herd and especially the staff at Dallas Zoo. You are all in my prayers. <3

  52. Stefanie

    So Very sad..was looking forward to coming and seeing her with my family.

  53. P Wood

    I fell in love with Kippy (that’s what I call her) the day she was born. Watched her first steps. Meditated to her soothing presence day and night. Voted for her name (which won). Recorded the Dallas reunion tower announcement of her name. She opened up a whole new world for me. I developed a love and fascination for an animal I had never been attached to before in my life. I heard the first announcement of her accident on the afternoon news. Like many of you I’m sure, I was devistated. I cried. And cried. And still cry. I can only imagine how her caregivers must feel. And I pray for them. She was truly a gift from God. And only He knows why she had such a short time with us. Did she accomplish her mission? Did He put her here to raise awareness of her species? She did that for sure. I am so proud of her for that. She never knew what an ambassador she was. Peace to those of good will. We will miss you Kippy.

  54. Sadie Khamehseyfi

    I haven’t stopped crying. People say it’s just a Giraffe or nonsense like that. I have been so emotional and the only think that helps me move on is praying and realizing that a creator made her and the creator (God) can take her away. This time, she can run and play all she wants with no danger in her way what so ever. She has changed so many lives and I hope you realize that there are so many people that have the same love–if not more about animals and their habitat. I am definitely one of those people and cannot thank you guys enough for you are, what you do, and the heart you guys have that blesses you to give your unconditional love to these amazing and beautiful creatures.

  55. Peggy Moritz

    Thank you for the continuing updates and information. I, like thousands of others, feel a need to stay connected to Kipenzi’s giraffe and zoo families. The donations in her honor are a wonderful tribute to her spirit and species. Kipenzi will always be a part of my heart.

  56. Kiely

    Kip stole my heart, gonna miss her.

  57. Deborah carnahan

    I just haven’t been myself since hearing of Kipensi death. It has been a terrible time. I would like to ask if you could show some pictures of Jamie. I think it would be nice to see her sister. Thank you Dallas Zoo

  58. Kristen

    I am so sorry for your zoo’s loss. My husband and I watched the birth and it was amazing. Stay strong.

  59. Debora Loomis

    So sorry for your loss. My granddaughter and I watched the incredible birth. We are heartbroken

  60. Johnna Roberts

    Like so many others I watched Kipenzis birth, but only just today learned of her early passing. I am crushed. I know that even thogh it has been nearly a month since her paasing she is still mourned by many. I hope that her giraffe family and human family are doing well and my thoughts and prayers are with all who loved her. I hope that Katie will have another baby to love and be loved by in return. She was a great momma to kipenzi. I will never forget Katie and baby Kipenzi. Thank you for the joy you brought to many.

  61. Just reading this now, how sad. I am fascinated by Giraffes, they are beautiful. I hope Kipenzi is living happily today:)

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