A baby giraffe at Giza Zoo died on Wednesday, the zoo administration announced, in what officials are saying was a suicide.
Vets at the zoo tried to rescue the three-year old giraffe after it hit itself on the iron fence, instigated by the aggression of visitors, zoo officials claim.
Other officials said the giraffe choked itself on the roof of its metal shade structure.
Compassion for Animals Organization Chief Mona Khalil said the accident comes after a series of negligencies by zoo officials and is considered a waste of public money.
Animal rights activists have heavily criticized Egypt’s zoos as animals often suffer from injuries, untreated diseases and severe starvation, according to animal welfare group “Occupy for Animals.” The group has started a campaign on its website demanding the shutdown of seven government zoos, calling them “hell holes” that shame Egypt.
Dina Zulfikar, one of the country’s most dedicated animal welfare activists and a member of the central zoos supervision committee, says the calls echo her own activism. “I have been calling and lobbying to revitalize the government zoos in Egypt for years,” Zulfikar says. “I wanted the zoo authorities to close down the zoos and turn them into botanical gardens so the animals could be transferred elsewhere and be safe.”
Head of the zoo central department Fatma Tammam said a legal and technical committee was formed to investigate the accident.
Official Agriculture Ministry sources said the committee report will be referred to Administrative Control to investigate the accident and inspect places allocated for the giraffes and whether they conform to Egyptian and international zoo standards.
The Giza Zoo administration is working on detailed report to General Authority for Veterinary Services Chief Osama Selim over the giraffe death reasons within few days. Final report will be submitted to Agriculture Minister Ayman Farid abu Hadid.