National Zoo mourns the loss of Hummer the giraffe

Dominic Giannini 5 July 2021 22
Wildlife keeper Katie Ness feeding Hummer the giraffe

National Zoo senior wildlife keeper Katie Ness feeds Hummer the giraffe Hummer on his 19th birthday. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

Hummer, the giraffe, died at the National Zoo & Aquarium over the weekend, a month out from his 20th birthday.

Hummer arrived in Canberra from Monarto Zoo – south-west of Adelaide – in 2004, and his personality quickly made an impact on zookeepers.

“The same way pets or people have very different personalities, these guys are like that,” Katie Ness, who had been looking after Hummer for the past nine years, said at his 19th birthday last year.

“Hummer is quite strong-headed and can have a bit of an attitude with people when he wants to.”

He was also quite big for a giraffe, standing about 5.5 metres tall, just shy of a giraffe in Queensland who made the Guinness Book of World Records at a height of 5.7 metres.

Hummer the giraffe

Hummer, the giraffe, enjoys his birthday ‘cake’ at the National Zoo last August. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

The zoo said Hummer did not suffer before he died as he approached his life expectancy. Giraffes in captivity live between 20 and 25 years.

“We take heart in the fact that he lived a long, happy life while receiving the best possible care and love from all of our dedicated staff, members and visitors,” the zoo said in a statement.

“Hummer was a fantastic ambassador for his species, educating and inspiring the public of the plight of wild giraffe and the challenges they face.

“He was adored by his keepers, guides and all zoo staff, as well as by hundreds of thousands of visitors and members.”

Two giraffes

Hummer the giraffe (right) and the younger Skye (left) last year. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

Hummer, whose full name was Humbekhali, quickly became known by his new moniker after the zoo’s backup vehicle which accompanied his transit to the National Zoo from South Australia almost two decades ago.

The zoo is now working on getting a companion for the giraffe Skye “as soon as possible”, it said.

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22 Responses to National Zoo mourns the loss of Hummer the giraffe
Stacey Mitchell Stacey Mitchell 12:04 am 07 Jul 21

Aww I used to volunteer at the zoo a few years ago a I looked after him and the zebras every week. Rest in peace Hummer. 🦒😔

Samantha Ncube Samantha Ncube 10:37 pm 06 Jul 21

Marcus Khumalo still yet to take me to the zoo and we won’t see the giraffe anymore

    Marcus Khumalo Marcus Khumalo 10:38 pm 06 Jul 21

    Samantha Ncube they is more giraffes 🤷🏽‍♂️

Margherita Gee Margherita Gee 9:10 pm 06 Jul 21

Oh my god 🥺♥️

Guy Shadbolt Guy Shadbolt 7:30 pm 06 Jul 21

RIP big Fella. Love the Giraffe

Kaity Singleton Kaity Singleton 4:45 pm 06 Jul 21

Melissa Carter didn’t you just post photos of this baby? 🥺

    Melissa Carter Melissa Carter 4:50 pm 06 Jul 21

    Yesssss he was lollys fave he passed on the weekend 😭😭😭😭

Darshi Ch Darshi Ch 1:44 pm 06 Jul 21

Him Mi Vike omg he must be the one we got selfies with

Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:27 am 06 Jul 21

His grave will be the longest in the pet cemetery.

Jennifer Reilly Jennifer Reilly 7:34 am 06 Jul 21

That’s sad and a big loss not only to his keepers but to the people of the ACT 😞

Marjeta Marks Marjeta Marks 8:31 pm 05 Jul 21

Sorry to see you go. Thanks for all the shoulder nudges.

Christine Spicer Christine Spicer 7:35 pm 05 Jul 21

Fiona Poole - Scrumdiddlyumptious Sweet Treats it makes your Hummer cake even more special ❤️

Jemma Goward Jemma Goward 6:01 pm 05 Jul 21

Poor animal probably froze in these sub temps

    Zaree Powell Zaree Powell 6:06 pm 05 Jul 21

    Jemma Goward I think he was probably use to it after 17 years.

    Jemma Goward Jemma Goward 6:07 pm 05 Jul 21

    Zaree Powell lol very true. As humans tho we still never get used to it lol 😉poor fellor. So glad we seen him earlier in the year

    Carolyn Morton Carolyn Morton 9:06 pm 05 Jul 21

    Jemma Goward he was born in South Australia which is also cold in winter and African Savannahs can get very cold in winter

Nell Feneck Nell Feneck 5:43 pm 05 Jul 21

Animals shouldn’t be kept in captivity - it shortens there life span

    Zaree Powell Zaree Powell 6:05 pm 05 Jul 21

    Nell Feneck life expectancy of giraffe in captivity is almost double than in wild

    Carolyn Morton Carolyn Morton 9:05 pm 05 Jul 21

    Nell Feneck read the room

Sarah Paciorek Sarah Paciorek 4:53 pm 05 Jul 21

Ali Borks wasn't he a family favourite when the boys were little? 😢

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