Burreaux, giraffe at Baton Rouge Zoo named after former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, dies

Daniella Medina
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Burreaux, a giraffe at the Baton Rouge Zoo named after Cincinnati Bengal and former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, has died. 

The 20-month-old male giraffe was born at the zoo on Dec. 26, 2019. He died early Wednesday after experiencing a "sudden onset of acute symptoms that included a severe cough and overall agitation," the Baton Rouge Zoo said in a statement. 

"The Zoo’s entire team adored Burreaux and is undergoing their own level of sadness over this sudden and unexpected loss," the Baton Rouge Zoo said in the statement. 

The zoo said veterinary staff took immediate measures to help Burreaux, including reaching out to zoos across the country, but none had experienced a giraffe with similar symptoms. 

Burreaux underwent constant staff evaluation to help his chances of recovery, the zoo said.

"The veterinary team’s plan was to observe him overnight and schedule an immobilization, assisted by the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, to explore the issue further on September 8th at 8am if no improvement occurred," the Baton Rouge Zoo said in a statement. "There was little change in his condition until 12:30am when he took a turn for the worse and died soon after."

Results of the necropsy performed by the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine pathology team and the zoo's staff will be available in about 30 days. 

Burreaux got his name after thousands of nominations, votes and funds raised for conservation efforts, the zoo said in February 2020. He was named by the Baton Rouge community "for our very own little champion!" 

The Baton Rouge Zoo welcomed Burreaux's baby sister, a female reticulated giraffe, on Aug. 31. 

Daniella Medina is a digital producer for the USA TODAY Network. Follow her on Twitter @danimedinanews