Giraffe dies after undergoing risky dental surgery

An 11-year-old giraffe has died after complications from surgery to repair his teeth.

>> Read more trending news

Hodari, an 18-foot-tall Masai giraffe from Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, New Jersey, underwent the surgery Wednesday to fix his teeth, the New York Post reported.

>> 14 fast facts about giraffes

Hodari had previously been exhibiting “strange behavior,” Essex County Rep. Joseph DiVicenzo said in a statement, and was found to have trouble eating.

“We believed this would give Hodari a better quality of life, improve his overall health and allow him to continue to thrive at Turtle Back Zoo,” said the zoo’s veterinarian, Dr. Jon Bergmann. “We knew there were risks when putting an animal of Hodari’s size under anesthesia but we also knew repairing his teeth would be more beneficial to him.”

A necropsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death with results expected to take a month.

>> Related: How long are giraffes pregnant?

Hodari was born at the San Diego Zoo and was one of four Masai giraffes that came to Turtle Back in December 2015.

About the Author