Thirty-one-year-old Mutangi, the oldest giraffe in captivity, has died.
Mutangi turned 31 in October. On Friday, Taronga Western Plains Zoo announced its beloved giraffe had died in November.
She was the first giraffe calf to be born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo and lived with her daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter. She reared 14 of her own calves and in total she has 61 descendants.
Speaking on World Giraffe Day in June, keeper Bobby-Jo Vial said it was "quite a privilege" to work with Mutangi.
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"She's probably my favourite giraffe to work with. We have a good relationship. It's a transactional relationship, so it's based on food, but trust as well. Being a herd animal it takes a long time to earn a giraffe's trust," Ms Vial said.
In the wild a giraffe is lucky if it surpasses its teens, but Ms Vial said the reason Mutangi was able to reach such an elderly age was due to those who looked after her, like the veterinary and maintenance teams.
Before she died, the keeper described Mutangi as a giraffe with "a lot of character".
"She's quite cheeky and she's always up for a challenge," she said.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo said Mutangi left behind an "amazing legacy".
"Mutangi met and inspired thousands of guests through giraffe encounters as well as numerous dignitaries and VIPs who visited the zoo. Most importantly she has been a wonderful ambassador for wild giraffe, inspiring people to care and protect these amazing creatures," the zoo said.
"Mutangi will be sadly missed but the team know she lived a long life and made such a positive impact for her species during her time on earth."
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