Catoctin zoo finds cause in giraffe death

Staff photo by Graham Cullen Rocket, before his exhibit opened to the public in in 2011 at Catoctin Wildlife Preserve & Zoo.

The lone giraffe at Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo died last week from a growth in its stomach that caused a fatal blockage from the stomach to the small intestine.

Rocket, who died Aug. 13 at the age of 4, did not show any symptoms until the day before he died, said the zoo's executive director, Rick Hahn.

(26) comments


A cage is a cage no matter who wonderful the trappings. The fewer wild animals in captivity the better. Protect their habitat and let them live free.

...a fierce menagerie that included wolves, monkeys and 18 Bengal tigers, an endangered species whose numbers total less than 3,000 in the wild...



Toys-R-Us stock just dropped.


Maybe the poor fella had a sore throat?


Giraffes can spend days if not weeks in the desert without food and water but can't last one day in Frederick....Hmmm !!!!....I'm moving to the desert...Me


Almost had to give you post of the day! I LMFAO but oddly I found myself saying that's actually a pretty good point.


Also, this comment is truly uneducated: "He also said that while Rocket did not have shaded shelters in his outdoor enclosure, "they don't get shaded in Africa either." They find trees to shelter under when they're roaming free in Africa.


I truly hope this zoo does not acquire another giraffe. They aren't meant to be "solo" animals. I also question their rationale about the death of this giraffe. The condition wasn't preventable, true-- but I'm surprised the condition wasn't detected earlier. I question whether the Catoctin Zoo has the expertise to care for large, exotic animals like a giraffe.


I suppose there are some valid points on both sides. The last time I was up there, a couple years ago, I was generally surprised by the improvements I saw there. Shame about the death, but it doesn't sound like it was related to the zoo. Although, I guess some of the animal enclosures could be improved and I can imagine that a giraffe (or two) is a sizable challenge.


I am no expert but traveling the East coast with my kids for the last 14 years we have been too many many roadside zoos. Some deplorable, some okay. In comparison, I have always found our local zoo to be one of the better if not best small family owned zoos I have been too. Just my two cents and I won't be back to read comments as so much bashing goes on up here on yea ole! [sad][ohmy]


The should put a fence around Thurmont and charge admission. It is more of a zoo!!!


^^^^^^ I hate a biggot!


biggot? Is that a fat bigot?


"they should put a fence around Thurmont and charge admission" LMFAO! ZIIINNNGGG!!!! Post of the day here!!!


This place is a pit and always has been. One of the last sleazy roadside zoos. Should be shut down.


One of the last? Where do you live, Cambodia? [sad]


You don't know what your talking about. I have seen a lot worse and think it is a very fair Zoo.


Inbreeding? Common problem in zoos.


No, just Thurmont.


Man you guys are just KILLING IT today! I've read THREE things about Thurmont on this page that ALL could've been Posts of the Day! I can barely type from laughing so hard!!


They didn't know not to feed a giraffe scrapple.




Probably the first death up in Thurmont I've heard for a while that wasn't heroin related






You didn't hear about the 21 year old girl who died after leaving the car she was in on Rt. 15? Or, are you just being a smart a**?


Oh you mean the girl that just "exited" the car at 55MPH??? And you don't think that sounds drug related to you???

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