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Giraffe dies in freak accident at zoo

Posted at 1:39 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-16 13:39:41-04

ATLANTA (WSB/CNN) - A giraffe has died at Zoo Atlanta after a tragic accident.

Zoo officials said it happened on Monday after an eight-year-old giraffe named Zuberi, got its neck stuck in a metal railing.

The incident is being called a freak accident.

Dr. Jennifer Mickelberg with Zoo Atlanta told WSB that zoo staff were in the giraffe barn with Zuberi caring for another member of his herd.

"We saw some unusual movement in Zuberi's area and immediately returned to his area. And saw that he had wedged a portion of his neck in a very small space in the metal railing," said Mickelberg.

The animal care team responded immediately but despite their efforts could not save him.

"He's very comfortable in. So really highly unusual. So it's really nothing unusual that would have occurred that would have led us to think something would happen," officials said.

The official cause of Zuberi’s death will not be known until the necropsy is completed.

"All of our animals are special and unique, and these are - this is a sad time," said Mickelberg.

The zoo said the other giraffes in the herd are behaving normally following Zuberi's death and they do not have access to the behind-the-scenes area where the incident occurred.

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

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