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Stanley had been a beloved fixture of Expedition Africa since the very beginning.

Earlier this month, Stanley the blue crane had an altercation with a zebra that resulted in multiple wing fractures. The first procedure to repair the wing was successful, save for one fracture that did not respond to this initial phase of treatment.

On Sunday afternoon, we made another attempt to repair this stubborn fracture; this aspect of the procedure was successful, but Stanley took an unusually long time to wake up from the anesthesia. About three hours into recovery, he entered cardiopulmonary arrest. Sadly, multiple attempts to resuscitate him were ineffective.

A necropsy performed yesterday revealed pale heart tissue, which could indicate Stanley was suffering from an underlying condition such as fibrosis or inflammation. Samples were submitted to a pathology laboratory, and we expect to have a report with more answers in a few months.

Stanley hatched on June 17, 1983 at Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, DC. He arrived here in May 2003, ahead of the opening of Expedition Africa.

Here is what Jordan, one of Stanley’s keepers, had to say:

Stanley was loved by everyone who was lucky enough to work with him. He had a charming, sassy personality that made him an instant favorite with anyone he met, and he adored the attention his “fans” (guests and volunteers) at the giraffe platform gave him whenever he walked by.

His favorite snacks were peanuts, crickets and worms, and his favorite enrichment items were anything that he could toss around and play with (like hay, cornhusks and even stuffed animals on occasion). He loved running and dancing with keepers, and, even as an older bird, Stanley never truly showed his age. He was always down to run and jump around with anyone who wanted to join him.

Stanley touched the hearts of many and will be truly missed.