Goody, beloved giraffe with arthritis, dies after 20 years at Sacramento Zoo

A popular giraffe at the Sacramento Zoo died this week after a long battle with arthritis and foot issues, zoo officials announced Wednesday.

Gudrun, nicknamed “Goody,” was euthanized Tuesday afternoon by zoo and UC Davis veterinary staff as her health declined and she showed visible signs of discomfort, the zoo said in a news release.

Goody, described by her keepers as a trusting, sweet and social giraffe, had been a fixture of the Sacramento Zoo for 20 years.

She moved from Milwaukee with her sister, Skye, in 1999 at the age of 1. Giraffes typically live until their mid-20s.

Zoo officials said Wednesday that Goody most recently struggled with a hoof abscess in her right foot that showed resistance to antibiotics, prompting the decision to euthanize.

The 14-foot, 1,600-pound giraffe gained attention from The Sacramento Bee and nationwide media over the years, as Sacramento Zoo and UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine professionals have attempted treatment on Goody with a variety of unique therapy methods.

Unusual arthritis treatment regimens included acupuncture, laser therapy, an orthopedic shoe and an anklet equipped with a Fitbit-like activity tracker.

“While some of our ideas (like her orthopedic shoe) worked better than others, every day I was constantly inspired by her spirited and carefree attitude despite all of the challenges she faced,“ Dr. Jenessa Gjeltema, an associate veterinarian at the zoo, said in a statement. “She was an incredibly special animal. I learned so much from her, and she will be missed dearly by us all.”

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