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Okinawa zoo’s favorite giraffe dies

Date Posted: 2009-12-31

One of Okinawa City Children’s Park’s favorite animals has died.

Takako, a 30-year-old giraffe died over the weekend. The giraffe was the longest living of its species in Japan. Takako’s handler, ‘Rinshun-san, says both zoo patrons and the giraffe’s two children have been taking her death very hard. Although giraffes don’t normally make noises even as they cry, Rinshun says the two children have been making noises as they look for their mom.

“Takako was very friendly to me, and she nestled up to me,” says Rinshun-san. “She wanted to feel close to me all the time. Usually bigger animals don’t get close to their handlers, but Takako came to me.” He says he created a trust with Takako, and she trusted him deeply. Rinshun says his goal now is to have Takako’s two children begin trusting him as much as their mom did.

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