KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- The Kansas City Zoo is mourning the death of two animals at their facility.
Dixie, a Masai giraffe, and Radi, a western lowland gorilla, died within days of each other.
The zoo says Dixie’s animal care team discovered she had unexpectedly died on July 11 while in our giraffe herd’s outdoor habitat in the Africa Plains exhibit.
"A necropsy has been performed, but the full results from testing could take up to six weeks or more. Preliminary results show that her death likely stemmed from rumenitis, an inflammation in her stomach, for which she had been receiving treatment," the zoo said in a written statement.
Dixie was born at the Kansas City Zoo in February 2018 to mom Lizzie. Later that year, Dixie gained international fame when a GIF of her went viral on social media.
With warmer temperatures finally on the horizon, the Kansas City Zoo's giraffe calf is ready to make her public debut.
Radi, the patriarch of our gorilla troop and one of the zoo’s most recognizable animals, died July 13.
Radi was a favorite of zoo guests and led a group of three adult females along with his only offspring, five-year-old daughter Masika.
The 37-year-old gorilla had resided in the West Africa section of the zoo since Africa’s opening in 1995.
"Radi was extremely smart and one of the first great apes in the country trained to participate in his own routine cardiac ultrasound assessments," the zoo said.
Earlier this spring, the zoo said Radi began to exhibit symptoms of a serious illness that caused him to lose weight.
"After extensive testing and treatment, it was determined that he had Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease. Zoo staff worked tirelessly, doing all they could to achieve the best possible outcome but after initial improvement, Radi’s health began to decline again and he was no longer responding to treatment. Though a difficult decision, Radi was humanely euthanized late yesterday," the zoo said.
According to the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, the median life expectancy for a male western lowland gorilla is 32.7 years.