June 1, 2004
CAPE MAY COUNTY ZOO LOSES ITS “FAVORITE SON”
Cape May Court House – Cape May County Freeholder Director Daniel Beyel is saddened to announce the passing of a “Legend” at the Cape May County Zoo, Jerome the Giraffe. Jerome, the third oldest giraffe in North America, died Tuesday, June 1, 2004 in his barn located in the African Savanna. Jerome was 24 years and one month at the time of his passing.
“Jerome”, as he was so affectionately called by the millions of visitors who stopped to say “hi”, resided at his home, the Cape May County Zoo, for seventeen years. Beyel said, “for many visitors a trip to Cape May County wasn't complete without seeing their pal Jerome.”
Jerome fathered six offspring, four boys and two girls. A female “Holly” born on December 8, 1998 still resides at the Cape May County Zoo along with two other giraffes.
Director of the Zoo Dr. Hubert Paluch determined that Jerome died of natural causes. Doc Paluch said, “ Jerome experienced digestive and kidney problems caused by old age.” Statistically, at the time of his death, Jerome was the third oldest giraffe in North America. One of the other two was just three days older. The other elder giraffe was three years his senior and is still today the oldest living male reticulated giraffe living in the world.
Cape May County residents and visitors will surely miss Jerome, who holds the record of being the eleventh oldest male giraffe to ever live in North America.
Click here for more photos of Jerome in the Photo Journal