An 8-year-old giraffe died suddenly at Zoo Atlanta yesterday.
According to People, the reticulated giraffe named Zuberi passed away at an off-exhibit giraffe complex. In a statement, the zoo said that the giraffe died after his head became, “wedged in a small space in a metal railing,” even though the animal was familiar with the area.
Prior to the horrific incident, caretakers shared that Zuberi was acting normally. Immediately after getting his head stuck, the Veterinary Team and the large-mammal animal care specialists rushed to the scene but unfortunately, they were unable to save the large animal.
Hayley Murphy, who is the Vice President of Animal Divisions at Zoo Atlanta, released a statement on behalf of the zoo, expressing their grief over the loss.
“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.”
Local news station 11Alive reports that Murphy also went on to say that in the moments prior to the incident, Zuberi showed no signs of injury, illness, or distress. Additionally, people who work at the zoo are perplexed as to how the giraffe even got his head stuck because it’s “not really like a railing” that a child could put their head through.
The University of Georgia’s Zoo and Exotic Animal Pathology Service are awaiting the results of a necropsy that was performed in order to determine the cause of death.
Following the tragedy, Zuberi’s other herd members, Abu, Etna, and Isooba, are being kept away from the area where Zuberi died. Luckily, the three remaining giraffes are said to be acting normally following the sad incident.
On their Instagram page, Zoo Atlanta let their followers know about Zuberi’s sudden passing with a post that explained what had happened on Tuesday afternoon. The post gained over 1,100 likes as well as 100-plus comments. While many of the comments were simply sad face emojis and heart emojis, countless other fans of the zoo sent their well-wishes and condolences following the loss.
“Awwww so sad. Sorry for your loss, he is in giraffe heaven.”
“I’m so sorry for your loss of this sweet angel,” another chimed in.
This is the second loss of a giraffe that Zoo Atlanta has experienced over the past few years. The first occurred in 2013 when a 7-year-old female named Mona collapsed and died from internal bleeding and hemorrhaging.
Our thoughts are with those affected.