New Docs, Emails, Pics Shed Light On Tulsa Zoo Giraffe's Death
New documents reveal zoo officials say the animal was in "good shape," when it arrived.
A month after her death, we still don't know what caused the break that bent Amali's neck and eventually ended her life.
"I would like the citizens of Tulsa to know that nobody feels that heartbreak more than us at the Zoo," said Dr Kay Backues, Zoo Veterinarian.
The News on 6 has obtained dozens of previously unreleased documents, emails and more than one hundred pictures chronicling the sale, transport, and treatment of Amali.
Tulsa bought Amali from the Ohio Zoo and emails report the five-year-old giraffe was loaded without any trouble on October 16th.
Two days later, sales records show zoo officials thought Amali "arrived in good shape," although they say they immediately noticed something was wrong with Amali's neck.
E-mails from that same day show the Tulsa zoo's large animal curator told her counterpart in Ohio that Amali's neck "has a slight crook in it" and hopefully "it would work itself out."
Zoo curator Karen Dunn wrote that Carl the transport driver told her the animal "didn't eat or drink" and described her as "very restless during the entire trip."
Compare the pictures of Amali's first day in Tulsa to one month later...and you can see how dramatically her injury worsened.
"As the time progressed the animal's anatomy actually worked against holding the neck straight and began to pull it further and further out of alignment," Backues said.
That's when zoo officials decided to take action; action they knew would be risky.
Zoo officials say they put her under anesthesia to take her x-rays and when they tried to bring her out of it, she stopped breathing and her heart stopped.
"We did everything we can to help that animal...welfare than us," Backeus said.
The Tulsa Zoo is still waiting on the federal investigation into the transport company and Amali's old zoo in Ohio.
It's worth noting, the transport company that brought Amali also brought the zoo's other new giraffe Amira and she's taller, traveled longer, and is doing just fine.