Lehigh Valley Zoo
May 3, 2021
|(Schnecksville, PA) – Lehigh Valley Zoo is heartbroken to announce the passing of Murphy, a 20-year-old Masai Giraffe. An iconic resident of the Zoo, Murphy brought smiles to guests and staff through his lovable personality, charismatic presence and adorable ear wiggles. His loss will be greatly felt by the staff and guests who loved him dearly.
Like all of the animals at LV Zoo, Murphy was cared for around the clock by a highly trained and dedicated animal care team and a very experienced veterinary staff. As a geriatric giraffe, Murphy had age-related health ailments that the Zoo animal care team was monitoring. He had been under a comprehensive treatment plan that was tailored to incorporate preventative care, which included time during colder months when the giraffe barn was kept closed in order to maintain the optimal temperature for Murphy’s health. His preventative care expanded more recently to include both voluntary bloodwork and hoof X-rays. Despite all of this, he had a limited response to ongoing treatment efforts and the team made the difficult but humane decision to euthanize him early this morning.
Murphy arrived at the Lehigh Valley Zoo in 2017 and served as an ambassador for his species by educating others about the importance of conservation and preservation of Masai Giraffe. As part of the Species Survival Program (SSP) under the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Murphy was a crucial contributor to helping not only add to the giraffe population, but by teaching younger giraffes some of the behaviors that are crucial to being an adult giraffe.
The gentle giant loved giraffe feedings, training sessions with his keepers, and was a wonderful mentor to the Zoo’s younger Masai Giraffe, Tatu. Zoo staff will be closely monitoring Tatu and his behaviors through this transition. For this reason, there may be times Tatu is off exhibit as he adjusts to the change within his herd. As the staff heals, the Zoo appreciate everyone’s understanding during this time and asks for you to please share any wonderful memories you have with Murphy on social media.
The LV Zoo closed early at noon on Monday, but will return to normal business hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily beginning Tuesday, May 4.
As a member-supported non-profit organization, Lehigh Valley Zoological Society was founded in 2004, but it has been treasured community landmark for centuries. Located in the Lehigh Valley’s Trexler Game Preserve, we have educated and entertained more than five million people.
Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Lehigh Valley Zoo hosts year-round, family-friendly events and activities, educational programs, and camps. Through a mission to create a safe, engaging and enlightening wildlife experience for guests of all ages, the Zoo demonstrates leadership in the cultural, scientific and conservation communities. To learn more about Lehigh Valley Zoo, we invite you to visit our website, www.lvzoo.org, or follow us on Facebook @LVZOO.