Giraffe Named After Bengals' Joe Burrow Dies Because of Illness at Baton Rouge Zoo

Adam WellsSeptember 9, 2021

Cincinnati Bengals' quarterback Joe Burrow (9) stands on the field before an NFL preseason football game against the Miami Dolphins in Cincinnati, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. The Dolphins won 29-26. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
AP Photo/Aaron Doster

A 20-month-old giraffe named after Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow died Wednesday. 

The Baton Rouge Zoo announced that Burreaux died early Wednesday after falling ill on Tuesday:

Baton Rouge Zoo @BatonRougeZoo

It is with the heaviest hearts that we let our Zoo family know that our beloved Burreaux, 20-month old male reticulated giraffe, has passed away. We are beyond saddened by this sudden loss and are grieving immensely. Rest in peace big guy. More info: <a href="https://t.co/u4W6hnbePQ">https://t.co/u4W6hnbePQ</a>. <a href="https://t.co/oNMgsDcCUR">pic.twitter.com/oNMgsDcCUR</a>

According to the zoo's announcement, Burreaux suffered "a sudden onset of acute symptoms that included a severe cough & overall agitation."

The Baton Rouge Zoo veterinary staff administered medication to stabilize the giraffe's symptoms and put him under constant surveillance to monitor his status prior to his death. 

A necropsy was performed at LSU by the school's veterinary medicine pathology team and the Baton Rouge Zoo’s veterinary staff Thursday. Results are expected to be available within 30 days. 

Burreaux was born on December 26, 2019. The zoo announced on Feb. 11, 2020, that the public could vote to name the animal by donating $1 to benefit conservation efforts in the wild. 

The final vote was tallied three days later, with a Cajun-style version of the Heisman Trophy-winning LSU quarterback's last name declared the winner. 

At the time the vote was announced, Burrow was one month removed from leading the Tigers to a 42-25 win over Clemson in the College Football Playoff championship. He became the second LSU player to win the Heisman Trophy, after Billy Cannon in 1959.