Baby Giraffe Dies In Central California Zoo Accident During VIP Event

A baby giraffe, born at a Central California zoo last month, has died after an unfortunate accident.

According to a report by ABC News, a male giraffe, who was born at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in Fresno, California on September 9, died on Sunday evening during a VIP event for the new African Adventure exhibit, which is scheduled to open on Tuesday, October 13. General curator Dan Subaitis said the giraffe reportedly ran into a single wire fence that was put up to protect the trees from the animals.

The giraffe’s impact with the fence is believed to have broken his neck.

Zoo spokeswoman Alisha Anderson said the baby giraffe, who weighed 188 pounds (85 kg) at birth, was the first animal to be born in the new exhibit, and the 12th reticulated giraffe birth in the zoo’s history. Currently, an exact cause of death has not been determined, however a necropsy (an autopsy performed on an animal) will be performed to find out. Zoo supporters who were attending the event to check out the new exhibit witnessed the animal lying on the ground.

“Guests were really upset,” Anderson said, according to Reuters, reported via Yahoo News. “Our staff is devastated.”

According to the Fresno Chafee Zoo’s official website, the new exhibit, called the African Adventure, is an “18-acre, multiphase expansion which will feature new animal species in spectacular naturalistic exhibits, many multi-species, that together will emulate the African plains and savannas.” Not only will the exhibit feature a state-of-the-art home for a pride of African lions, it will also provide a new top-notch habitat for a herd of African elephants, white rhinos, and a giraffe feeding station. The feeding station will be temporarily unavailable because the zoo’s giraffes move to their new location at the exhibit. The exhibit will also feature a brand new restaurant called Kopje Lodge.