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A South Australian zoo has lost two its its beloved giraffes within a week of each other.
Monarto Safari Park said goodbye to Tambo and Kinky, described as “legends” of the park, last week.
Tambo was 21, the oldest male giraffe in Australia.
Giraffe keeper, Vaughan Wilson, who took care of the pair for more than a decade, said it was “heart-wrenching” to lose them.
Tambo, a Rothschild’s giraffe, was known for his “approachable” nature, the zoo said on Facebook.
He had an incredible 26 direct offspring, 50 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and 16 great-great-grandchildren.
Kinky, who was 22, was known for having a kink in her neck – the result of a mishap when she was being born.
“When she was being born, her mother sat down – Kinky, therefore, probably got a bit squashed on the way out and ended up with a fairly large, significant kink in her neck,” Mr Wilson said.
A fan of carrots handed out by visitors, when she died she was the oldest giraffe the park had ever had.
Two of her daughters, Asali and Mtoto, live at the park.
“These two gentle giants have been incredible ambassadors for their species, educating visitors about the plight of their wild cousin and their legacy will live on for years to come,” the park wrote on Facebook.
But a new giraffe face will soon be seen.
Keepers are in the process of training a cheeky young giraffe called Azizi, from Adelaide Zoo, to walk into a trailer.
He’ll soon move over to Monarto to delight visitors.