It's been an emotional 24 hours for the Great Plains Zoo and Butterfly House & Aquarium staff and Sioux Falls residents.

A loveable reticulated giraffe named Chioke has passed away after the difficult and heartbreaking decision to humanely euthanize him. Chioke was suffering a "severe fracture in his left foot."

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Great Plains Zoo (via Facebook), Canva
Great Plains Zoo (via Facebook), Canva

The Great Plains Zoo and Butterfly House & Aquarium staff and the Sioux Falls community are shocked. The zoo recognizes that animal passings are never easy. However, this one hits "particularly hard" for the Great Plains Zoo and Butterfly House & Aquarium.

In a heartbreaking Facebook post, staff at the Great Plains Zoo and Butterfly House & Aquarium explain Chioke's history in Sioux Falls and how his ongoing hoof and foot issues have been the new normal in his life for some time.  Animal Care and Veterinary leaders with the zoo made the "responsible" decision not to let Chioke suffer anymore.

Chioke was the lovable giant in the Great Plains Zoo and Butterfly House & Aquarium family. He was always chewing something whether it was a piece of hay, kale, or some of his favorite biscuit treats from Sioux Falls zoo guests coming to say, "Hello."

Chioke was also a huge goofball. Zoo staff remembers his "favorite enrichment was a jug filled with rocks. He would hit it with his ossicones and send rocks flying everywhere. He loved it. Chioke also loved to play with his boomer ball and would kick it around the yard." Chioke was clever. If he had an itch on his head, he would scratch it on the door before he walked outside.

READ MORE: Sioux Falls Great Plains Zoo’s Precious Bears Are Internet Famous

The Great Plains Zoo and Butterfly House & Aquarium staff did have an opportunity to say their goodbyes to Chioke. They even gave him his favorite biscuits. Officials are offering grief counseling and mental health support services to any staff member who might need it.

Sioux Falls will miss this amazing, gentle, curious, and mischievous giraffe.

“Chioke” means “gift from God," and it looks like he definitely was.

Road Trip-Worthy Restaurants Within 90 Minutes of Sioux Falls

Veer off the beaten path. Take a road trip and try some favorite small-town eateries. Just by driving a few miles, you could find some delicious hidden gems.

From steaks to seafood, chislic to chicken, these are out-of-the-way unexpected finds that will make your taste buds tingle.

Here's a list of 14 Road Trip-Worthy Restaurants within 90 minutes of Sioux Falls.

Gallery Credit: Karla Brown

5 Words That'll Help You Sound Like a South Dakotan

Each and every state has its own way of saying certain words, and South Dakota is no different.

We South Dakotans have our own unique way of saying certain words which sometimes leaves outsiders scratching their heads.

Here's a list of five words, and how to use them, to help you blend in.

Gallery Credit: Andy Gott