Giraffe at Zoo Atlanta dies in freak accident

Esequiel Farfan
May 16, 2018

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

A giraffe that was originally born at Riverbanks Zoo, Zuberi, died at Zoo Atlanta May 14.

The zoo announced the death Tuesday morning, saying Zuberi was in the behind-the-scenes giraffe complex when the accident happened.

A doctor with the zoo says staff were in the giraffe barn with Zuberi caring for another member of his herd when it happened.

The zoo's vice president for collections and conservation, Dr. Jennifer Mickelberg, tells news outlets it's "extraordinarily unusual" that Zuberi got stuck in that position.

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The zoo said in its statement that Zuberi and the other giraffes are very familiar with that area and that safety checks on all animal areas are a part of their regular daily procedures. So really highly unusual.

"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.

Zoo officials said they are "thoroughly reviewing the entirety of the areas used by the giraffes".

"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 Dr. Hayley Murphy, Vice President of Animal Divisions at Zoo Atlanta.

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