RISING SUN, Md. (WJZ) -- The Plumpton Park Zoo announced Tuesday that one of the zoo's main attractions, Jimmie the giraffe, is in hospice care.
This 3,000 pound animal has earned the love of many over his 26 years of life, 25 of them right here at the zoo in Cecil County.
"He is the heart of the zoo, everyone who knows Plumpton Park knows Jimmie," said zoo director Cheryl Lacovara.
When you pull into the zoo parking lot you see a silhouette of Jimmie the giraffe. Jimmie even has his own Facebook page.
Oftentimes animals do live longer in captivity than they do in the wild because of the healthcare and balanced, stable diet they get, but 26 years is still impressive.
"Jimmie is 26 1/2 years old. May 9 is his birthday, he's halfway to 27," said Lacovara. "Typically, male giraffes live to be around 20."
And with that, Jimmie is the oldest living giraffe in the U.S., possibly in the entire world.
"Well, that giraffe is older than me, so I mean, I think that's pretty cool," said zoo visitor Ciara Hohman.
Under old management, Jimmie lived alone for 10 years. But once Locavara took over, they got Jimmie a girlfriend and companion, Annabell, and the two hit it off. She even came in to check on him while we visited on Tuesday.
"They have created a nice little bond, so she tries to help him when she can and she comes in and checks on him when he stays inside," said Lacovara
As Jimmie battles the issues that come with living a long life, the zoo is now doing what they can to make him comfortable.
Jimmie has battled a hoof issue for many years of his life. Right now he sees the vet frequently and has special accommodations where he lives.
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