Sulima, the Santa Barbara Zoo's elderly Baringo giraffe, was euthanized Monday after struggling with recent health issues. Born at the San Diego Zoo, she lived in S.B. for 20 of her 21 years and was a close companion of Gemina, the beloved crooked-necked giraffe who died four years ago at the age of 21.
The zoo's remaining sky-scraping animals — Michael, Audrey, Betty Lou, and Daniel — are all Masai giraffes. “We will forever share fond memories of our Baringo herd, and we’ll miss her,” the zoo's Facebook page reads. "Farewell, tall friend."
Daniel made international headlines when he was born in Santa Barbara in January 2011. Keepers were unaware his mother, Audrey, was pregnant until they one morning entered her enclosure and spotted baby Daniel making himself at home.
Baringos are one of the most endangered giraffe subspecies with only a few hundred remaining in the wild. Masais are more common and — reaching heights of 18 feet — are the tallest mammals on earth.