A giraffe at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium was euthanized Tuesday morning as a result of worsening degenerative joint disease.

Sam, 17, was born at the zoo on July 23, 2001. He was one of two male giraffes in the zoo’s African Grasslands.

Sam lived at the zoo with his mother, Daisy, 25, and his daughter Penelope, who was born last year. He sired several giraffes over the years.

Giraffes live about 25 years in the wild and slightly longer in captivity. Keepers had been giving Sam treatment for his joint problems for years, hoping to minimize discomfort.

The zoo said in a statement that a decision was made Tuesday morning to euthanize him out of “concern for the animal’s welfare.”

The Giraffe Herd Room was temporarily closed Tuesday. After Sam’s passing, the zoo now has one male and nine female giraffes.