Staff and visitors to Lehigh Valley Zoo are mourning the loss of their oldest giraffe.

The larger of the zoos two Masai giraffes, Murphy, was put down yesterday after dealing with health issues for several years.

Today visitors left tokens of remembrance near the pen where he's lived since 2017.

"Murphy was a prominent animal for us here at the zoo and even though we all know animals don't live forever it is a hard day for so many people."

"The outpouring of love and support we are getting from our guests has been truly amazing. I mean as a leader for the animal care staff being able to share Murphy has touched people's lives and them wondering how Tatu's going to do really culminates our efforts of reaching out to our guests about conservation and inspiring them to save species."

Murphy was almost 21 years old. The gentle giant loved giraffe feedings, training sessions with his keepers, and was a wonderful mentor to the zoo’s younger Masai giraffe, Tatu. Zoo staff will be closely monitoring Tatu and his behavior after the loss of his friend.