A zookeeper and his beloved giraffe died in Macedonia (19 photos)

Category: Animals, PEGI 0+
22 May 2024

Love unites us all, regardless of the type. A strong bond can form between an owner and a pet, and, for example, between a zookeeper and a wild animal. At the Skopje Zoo in North Macedonia, one zookeeper has become the giraffes' best friend. This story will not leave anyone indifferent.

On November 26, 2023, the zoo in Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, mourned the loss of Riste Trajkovski, a zookeeper known for his love and affection for giraffes. Many remembered his sensitive love for these animals, and therefore this loss was especially sad. In a tragic coincidence, just a few hours after Riste’s death, the zoo’s last giraffe, a 10-year-old male named Floppy, also died.

Despite the best efforts of zoo staff, Floppy could not be saved. He and Riste were close for all 10 years, and the caretaker looked after him all this time. The loss of Floppy and Riste shocked many: the entire zoo staff, visitors, and people around the world.

"I was friends with Riste for many years and was always impressed by his strong bond with giraffes. Riste was a beloved zoo employee - he cared for the giraffes from the first day they were born. He worked with them for 12 years. And I took photographs all these years , in which he captured this reverent love. Then these photographs were distributed throughout the world,” says Goki, a photographer and close friend of Riste.

According to the photographer, the giraffes adored Riste, and he loved them with all his heart. Despite the sad loss, Skopje Zoo will continue to honor the memory of its caretaker, as well as inspire people to care for animals and protect nature.

"I think there is no difference between caring for people and caring for animals. The only difference is that animals give much more love than people," continues photographer Goki.

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