Local News

Giraffe Dies At N.C. Zoo

Posted October 8, 2001 10:53 a.m. EDT

— A five-year-old giraffe at the

North Carolina Zoological Park

died Sunday from injuries suffered in a fall.

Keepers found the animal down in the zoo's Forest Edge Exhibit holding barn when they arrived at work around 8 a.m. They speculate he may have splayed his legs while tussling overnight with one of the other three giraffes housed in the facility.

Zoo veterinarians, animal curators and keepers worked with the giraffe all morning, but were unsuccessful in attempts to get him back on his feet. He died around 1 p.m.

A necropsy, or animal autopsy, performed at the zoo's Hanes Veterinary Medical Center Sunday evening revealed the giraffe died from muscle damage and other injuries sustained when his legs splayed, according to zoo Associate Veterinarian Dr. Barbara Wolfe.

Born in November 1996, the male was the last giraffe to be born at the N.C. Zoo. Another male and two females, including the 26-year-old mother of the deceased male, remain in good health and on exhibit at the zoo. There are no plans to replace the giraffe that died, according to Lorraine Smith, the zoo's Curator of Mammals.