On November 26, 2023, a somber day unfolded at Skopje Zoo with the untimely demise of Riste Trajkovski, a 44-year-old caretaker renowned for his exceptional devotion to giraffes. His unique approach to caring for exotic animals had resonated not only in Skopje but across the globe, making his passing even more poignant. The circumstances surrounding his death remain shrouded in mystery, intensifying the sorrow felt by many.
In a tragic twist of fate, a mere few hours after Trajkovski’s passing, the zoo faced yet another blow with the loss of Floppy, the last remaining giraffe at the facility. Despite the valiant efforts of zoo personnel to rescue Floppy, their endeavors proved futile.
The departure of both Trajkovski and Floppy extends beyond the confines of Skopje Zoo, reverberating as a profound loss for the entire community. Trajkovski’s compassionate approach towards animals served as an inspiration, and the void left by his absence underscores the formidable challenges zoos encounter in safeguarding diverse species.
Skopje Zoo now confronts the daunting task of not only mourning the loss but also rebuilding and preserving Trajkovski’s legacy. This responsibility includes caring for the remaining animals while grappling with the stark reality of an emptied giraffe enclosure, once teeming with life and the enduring bond between a caretaker and his charges.