Long Island Game Farm responds to USDA report on dead giraffe calf


The Long Island Game Farm publicly responded today to a USDA report that tied the death of a 3-year-old giraffe at the Manorville facility to chilly temperatures and malnutrition.

“As stated in the USDA report, Bobo suffered from malnutrition as a result of heavy parasitic load resistant to medication – not starvation,” read a statement posted by the Game Farm on social media. “When Bobo passed, we had initially been informed he had died from heart failure, and requested a necropsy examination from Cornell. We learned his heart was abnormally small, but other results were inconclusive.

“When the USDA report was shared with us, we remained in conversation with the inspector as to the next steps,” the statement continued.

The USDA’s inspection and necropsy report — signed in February — noted that Bobo the giraffe had been suffering for months with a “heavy parasite load and poor body condition for approximately 2 months.” In the days after the animal’s death, the Game Farm reported that the calf “died unexpectedly of heart failure.”

The Game Farm also noted at the time that Bobo had been under routine care with the facility’s veterinarian.

The facility has come under fire from the nonprofit Humane Long Island for hosting “Bobo’s Bon Voyage Party” on Sept. 16, just weeks before he died. In promoting the event, the Game Farm said it was a “celebration of the game farm’s beloved giraffe who will be heading south for the winter in early October.”

The Game Farm in its social media response confirmed it “had begun raising funds for a year-round giraffe house prior to Bobo’s death with a goal toward housing giraffes year-round.”

Regarding the chilly temperatures cited in the USDA report, the Game Farm said, “While the outside temperatures in early October were around 58 degrees, the barn was warmer to ensure Bobo’s comfort and safety.

“Bobo did not freeze, nor does the USDA report indicate that he did,” the Game Farm statement continued.

The Game Farm also noted that the USDA’s inspection “yielded zero violations.” The USDA report said the Game Farm must adapt an appropriate feeding plan and update its barn to account for the local climatic conditions before obtaining another giraffe.

Below is the Game Farm’s Facebook post, with the facility’s message in its entirety.

Top photo: Bobo the giraffe at Long Island Game Farm. (Credit: Lori and Steve Biegler of LSB Photography)

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