“Over her lifetime, Patches was an iconic ambassador. She made it possible for millions of visitors who will never have the opportunity to travel to Africa to experience the beauty and gracefulness of her species,” Lisa New, Zoo Knoxville president and CEO, said in a statement. “We will always be grateful to her for inspiring our community to care about the future of giraffes and to support the work we are doing to save them.”
At the zoo, Patches gave birth to eight giraffe calves, the News Sentinel reported. Each was fathered by the zoo's longtime male, the late Magic, the newspaper reported. The youngest calf, Lucille, was born in 2002, WCYB reported.