CLEVELAND — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video in the player above is from a previous story about Bo the Giraffe.
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo announced Thursday that its 17-year-old male Masai giraffe, Bo, had passed away.
The zoo said that Bo had been suffering from an illness for a long time and recently experienced a rapid decline in health over the past several weeks. Zoo veterinary staff made the difficult decision to euthanize him Wednesday night.
Bo came to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo back in 2017, after a recommendation from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) for giraffes.
Standing almost 17 feet tall, Bo was the tallest of the giraffes at the Cleveland Zoo. He was a fan favorite at the Ben Gogolick Giraffe Encounter because he was so tall that he could easily reach over the railing to the eager visitors waiting to feed him.
"Bo was an incredible ambassador to his species and his memory will live on through his two offspring at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Kidogo and Kendi, as well as through continued global conservation efforts to protect giraffe species as their populations decline across Africa," the zoo said in a statement posted to their Facebook page.
The zoo went on to say that it would be performing a necropsy on Bo "to fully understand the underlying health issues."
Masai giraffes are the largest subspecies of giraffe. They are on the endangered species list, as only around 45,000 Masai giraffes remain in the wild in their African habitat.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The video in the player below is from a previous story.