A beloved giraffe that lived at Boston's Franklin Park Zoo for years has died, according to zoo officials.
Beau, an 18-year-old Masai giraffe, had been in declining health for some time. Due to his decline, zoo staffers said they made a decision Tuesday to "humanely euthanize him for quality of life reasons."
"We have treated Beau for a number of health issues through the years, and unfortunately over the past year he has not responded positively to the treatment plans we have implemented and his health has continued to decline. This is a sad day for all of us," said Dr. Eric Baitchman, Zoo New England vice president of animal health and conservation medicine.
Zoo officials said Beau had lost weight and his body condition had deteriorated over the past year. This was despite normal appetite and diet changes to increase the protein and fat content.
Due to his condition, Beau had not been on exhibit at the zoo this season.
Beau had been plagued by other issues in the past. He made successful recoveries from a wasting syndrome in 2003 and a urinary obstruction in 2012.
John Linehan, Zoo New England president and CEO, said Beau was beloved by staff and visitors.
"So many of us had a close personal relationship with him. He will be deeply missed, but his legacy lives on through all of the offspring he fathered with his longtime mate Jana," Linehan said. "He was an incredible ambassador for his species and brought smiles to the faces of so many who had the chance to meet him up close. We feel honored to have had the opportunity to care for him for so many years and through his story educate people of all ages about these truly majestic animals."
Beau, who lived at the zoo since 1999, successfully produced six offspring, including one-year-old Amari, who still resides at Franklin Park Zoo.