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Saturday, July 13: Franklin Park Zoo will close at 3:00 p.m. (last daytime admission ticket sold at 2:00 p.m.) in preparation for our Brew at the Zoo event. Please plan your visit accordingly!

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Beau the giraffe experiencing health issues

BeauZoo New England announced today that Beau the giraffe is experiencing health issues and will likely not be on exhibit for the next one to two weeks. 

Beau, a 16-year-old Masai giraffe, has recently lost weight and staff has noticed changes in his appetite. Due to the exceptional animal training programs at the zoo, last week the zookeepers were able to safely obtain a blood sample from Beau with his cooperation. Test results reveal that Beau appears to be dealing with an issue related to his gallbladder or liver. He is being treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. Because we want to make sure he takes his full oral dose each day, he will likely not be on exhibit. The normal daily opportunities to meet Beau from the Giraffe Terrace are temporarily cancelled while he is being treated and monitored. 

“With such a large animal, we are somewhat limited in the diagnostics that we are able to perform. Through the well-established training program, as well as the trust between Beau and the zookeepers, staff was able obtain a blood sample, which assists tremendously in our ability to diagnose and treat him. We are continuing to monitor him closely and are hopeful that he will respond positively to the antibiotics,” said Dr. Eric Baitchman, Zoo New England Director of Veterinary Services. 

Zoo New England has been an active participant in the Giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species. Beau’s mate Jana can be seen on exhibit on the Giraffe Savannah. 

“Beau is a charismatic animal that is a favorite of staff and visitors alike. He is a resilient giraffe having made successful recoveries from two significant health issues in the past – a wasting syndrome in 2003 and a urinary obstruction in 2012,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO. “He has an incredible story and we hope people will keep him in their thoughts.”