By Titus Kakembo
Tangi one the three Rothschild’s giraffes brought to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) in 2009 for conservation education purposes and breeding has died.
By the time she died, she was responding to her name and would turn round when summoned by animal keepers to be fed.
“She was the most bold and reliable for the new feeding program at UWEC. She will be dearly missed by the entire UWEC family and visitors,” said UWEC spokesperson Belinda Atim in a somber tone.
According to Atim, “Tangi was the first giraffe to respond favorably to training for the newly introduced ‘giraffe feeding program’ and was the most popular. She was fed by the World Tourism Organisation president, minister of tourism Maria Mutagamba and several prominent people during their visits here.”
On June 8, Tangi was found lying lifeless in her exhibit by her care-givers. It was earlier observed that not to be passing stool and showed signs stomach ache. There was a rapid response by the UWEC veterinary team and she was not considered to be in mortal danger. Following some recovery Tangi’s improved feeding habits was evidence of health improvement and increased energy level.
“Finding her dead is perplexing,” wondered Atim.
The findings of a post-mortem have it that the carcass was in normal state except for an abnormal mass found in the wall of the small intestine, which oozed out pus upon incision. Except the lining of the small intestine which an abnormal large amount of blood and had wounds.
Consequently, the large intestine was bloated with gas, heavily distended and torn. There was evident disturbance of intestinal contents to the point of obstruction.
The mass growth led to gradual intestinal obstruction, sudden a high level of bacterial growth due to retention of excreta that led to sudden death. Biological samples have been collected and submitted to the Central Diagnostic Laboratory at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Makerere University to ascertain the origin of the gross mass.