The Denver Zoo made a difficult announcement on Wednesday afternoon informing fans on their Facebook page that the zoo had to euthanize one of the facility's reticulated giraffes.

Kipele, the 29-year-old giraffe, was humanely euthanized due to an acute decline in her health. The Denver Zoo states that her advanced age and mobility issues were being monitored for quality of life. Kipele's health took a sudden turn for the worse, as a result, the Denzer Zoo teams had to make the hard decision to euthanize her so she did not suffer.

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Kipele the reticulated giraffe was born at the Denver Zoo on August 16, 1993, and was one of the oldest giraffes in an AZA-accredited facility. She was known as a sweet and friendly giraffe that brought joy and inspiration to many guests over the years.

Kipele was also a mother to a surprise baby, Dobby. Kipele was on birth control and suddenly gained 100 pounds. When caretakers gave Kipele an ultrasound, they were able to confirm she was pregnant. Two days after the ultrasound on Kipele, she gave birth to Dobby prematurely.

Dobby was less than half the weight and shorter than a typical newborn giraffe. Since birth, Dobby has thrived and grown into a full-size giraffe. We're sure that Dobby will miss his mother greatly.

The Denver Zoo posted a sweet, yet heartbreaking announcement on the passing of Kipele.

Rest easy Kipele. We will certainly miss you.

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