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COVID-19 Vaccines Did Not Kill Two Giraffes at the Dallas Zoo

An investigation continues into what caused the deaths of 19-year-old Auggie and 14-year-old Jesse, who both had signs of liver damage.
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The Dallas Zoo is still looking into what caused the deaths of two giraffes, 19-year-old Auggie and 14-year-old Jesse, within a few days of each other last month. (A 3-month-old giraffe was euthanized earlier last month after it suffered a major leg injury in its habitat.)

Zoo officials suspect the deaths of Auggie and Jesse, who both showed signs of liver damage, are connected. While the investigation continues, the zoo said in a Facebook post that it knows the following things did not kill the giraffes:

  • We can say with certainty these deaths were not related to the COVID-19 vaccine. We are still on the waiting list to receive doses of the vaccine from Zoetis, so we have not begun to vaccinate any of our animals against COVID-19.
  • We have been able to eliminate encephalomyocarditis (EMC) as a cause of death but are still awaiting results on other zoonotic diseases.
  • We have surveyed and are testing the vegetation in the habitat and feed yard. As a precaution, we removed a few trees & trimmed back the grazing & browsing spots in these areas. We are confident that we’ve eliminated possible risks that may have come from within the habitat and feel very confident in allowing animals back into these spaces.

That first bullet point refutes a viral bit of social media conjecture, which, like a lot of social media posts related to the COVID-19 vaccine, is not accurate.

The second refers to a viral infection that’s been known to spread through zoos and cause the deaths of large mammals, including elephants and hippos.

The zoo says it still believes “exposure to a toxin is a potential connection given the abnormal liver enzymes, but we are exploring every possible cause — from bacteria, to parasite, to diseases. We have been closely monitoring the giraffes & other hoofstock for any signs of symptoms and conducting regular blood draws to look at liver enzyme levels.”

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