Parkland Press

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Ernie the giraffe dies at Lehigh Valley Zoo

Thursday, June 1, 2017 by ASHLEIGH ALBERT Special to The Press in Local News

According to recent news reports, Ernie the giraffe, a new resident of the Lehigh Valley Zoo, Schnecksville, died on May 28.

Ernie, 6, was reunited with his dad, Murphy, who also came to the Lehigh Valleyfrom a zoo in Kansas City.

The young giraffe, who arrived May 26, is said to have become aggressive and suffered a neck injury.

Murphy, 15, who was the first of the two giraffes to come to the Zoo, arrived May 23.

The father and son were recommended to remain together as they cohabited previously, Manager of Marketing and Business Partnerships Peter Fox told The Press during a tour.

Last Thursday, zoo handlers were helping Murphy adjust to his environment in the St. Luke’s University Giraffe Barn before allowing him access to the feeding deck and rest of the exhibit.

The Zoo’s animal caretakers had visited the Kansas City Zoo to learn how to handle the animals. They also visited other local zoos, including the Philadelphia Zoo, to learn about public giraffe feeding exhibits, Fox said.

The arrival of two Masai giraffes at the Lehigh Valley Zoo was part of the zoo’s capital campaign and cost more than $700,000.

The giraffe exhibit is just one phase toward the zoo’s mission to create “Africa,” Fox said.

Telephone calls to Lehigh Valley Zoo CEO Melissa Borland and Fox were not returned by press time.