A Scots safari park is mourning the loss of one of its giraffes. 

Blair Drummond Safari Park, near Stirling, said it was “deeply saddened” to announce the passing of 22-year-old giraffe Kelly. 

The safari park said Kelly, one of the oldest giraffes in the UK, had been experiencing age-related health problems in recent times. 

A safari park spokesperson said: “Despite the dedicated care provided by her keepers and veterinary team, it became apparent that her health was declining. 

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“As a result, a comprehensive health screen was conducted under full anaesthetic, and putting her to sleep was determined to be the best course of action.”

Born in 2000 at Chester Zoo, Kelly arrived at Blair Drummond in 2010, accompanied by her daughter Bella, who continues to reside at the safari park. 

“Over the course of a decade, Kelly became an integral part of the Blair Drummond family and her loss will be deeply felt by all who had the privilege of knowing her,” the safari park added.

Blair Drummond currently serves as a giraffe hybrid holding facility, offering a home to hybrid giraffes and allowing other zoos the opportunity to breed freely within their own collections. 

As such, the facility acts as something of a retirement home for the giraffe community, with most of its residents in their later years.

Lead veterinarian Romain Pizzi commented: “Through detailed diagnostic testing and a post-mortem examination, we sadly discovered several health issues primarily associated with the natural effects of aging.

"While no single organ had failed outright, the combined impact of these conditions led to a decline in her metabolism, ultimately preventing her from maintaining her body condition.”

Deputy Large Mammal Team Leader Shonagh Bell added: “Kelly was a contentedly shy giraffe but when she warmed to you it felt like such an honour to be in her company.  We miss her so much.”