Zoo Atlanta giraffe dies in freak accident, officials say

On Monday, a 7-year-old giraffe died unexpectedly at Zoo Atlanta after getting part of its neck stuck in a metal railing.

The zoo announced the death Tuesday morning, saying a giraffe named Zuberi was in the behind-the-scenes giraffe complex when it happened. Officials said the animal care team responded immediately, but Zuberi died shortly after.

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The zoo said in its statement that Zuberi and the other giraffes are very familiar with that area and that safety checks on all animal areas are a part of its regular daily procedures.

"The Zoo Atlanta family, and especially those animal care team members who are with the giraffes daily, are deeply shocked and saddened by this tragic and unexpected loss. Zuberi showed no signs of injury, illness or distress in the moments prior to this event," Hayley Murphy, DVM, vice president of animal divisions, said in a statement. "Our Animal Care and Veterinary Teams responded to the emergency right away, but despite their immediate and heroic efforts, were not able to save Zuberi."

The official cause of death will not be known until a necropsy is completed.

The zoo said the other giraffes in the herd are behaving normally following Zuberi’s death, and they do not have access to the area where the incident occurred.

Zoo officials said they are “thoroughly reviewing the entirety of the areas used by the giraffes.”

The full statement from Zoo Atlanta can be read below.

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