A Zoo Atlanta giraffe “died unexpectedly” this week, zoo officials have revealed.
The zoo detailed the Monday afternoon incident involving 8-year-old Zuberi in a Facebook post.
“Zuberi was at the Zoo’s giraffe building, an area very familiar to him and the other members of his herd, and had been observed by members of his care team just moments before a portion of his neck became wedged in a small space in a metal railing,” the post explained. “The Animal Care Team responded immediately, with the Veterinary Team and large-mammal animal care specialists on the scene, but Zuberi died very shortly thereafter.”
The animal’s official cause of death isn’t going to be known until a necropsy is completed.
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“It’s not like a railing where a child could put their head through. It surprised us all,” Dr. Jennifer Mickelberg told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Zoo Atlanta said its “teams are thoroughly reviewing the entirety of the areas used by the giraffes,” and offered information on other giraffes.
“The other members of Zuberi’s herd, adult males Abu, 12, Etana, 6, and Isooba, 6, are behaving normally following the loss of their herd member and do not have access to the area where the incident occurred,” the zoo shared.
Zuberi turned 8 years old on February 13.