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Giraffe dies after freak accident at zoo - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Giraffe dies after freak accident at zoo

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Stock image of giraffe  SOURCE: (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images for IAAF) (Photo via: WYFF) Stock image of giraffe SOURCE: (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images for IAAF) (Photo via: WYFF)

ATLANTA (WYFF)—A giraffe who had been with Zoo Atlanta for four years has died following an accident.

Zoo officials say 7-year-old Zuberi died unexpectedly after his neck became wedged in a space between a metal railing.

Workers were in the enclosure with him, caring for another animal, when the accident occurred.

"They saw some unusual movement in Zuberi's area and saw that he had a portion of his neck in a very small space in the metal railing," Dr. Jennifer Mickelberg told WSB.

Hayley Murphy, Vice President of Animal Divisions, said Zoo Atlanta is shocked by the unexpected loss.

"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," said Murphy. "It’s an area he’s really comfortable in. Really, this is just a highly unusual incident. There’s really nothing unusual that would have occurred that would have led up to something unusual happening."

Zuberi leads a herd of adult males that includes 12-year-old Abu and 6-year-olds Etana and Isooba.

"Zuberi was an important part of the giraffe herd and a special individual. We share the heartbreak of this event with the animal care professionals who knew him best and with our veterinary team, as well as our admiration for their outstanding commitment to Zuberi and to all the animals in our care," said Murphy in a press release.

The official cause of death will not be known until after the completion of a necropsy.

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