ATLANTA -- Zoo Atlanta shared some sad news on Tuesday announcing that one of its giraffes has died.
According to a statement from zoo spokesperson Rachel Davis, Zuberi, a 7-year-old adult male reticulated giraffe, died suddenly on Monday.
"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," zoo officials said.
Zoo Atlanta's animal care team responded immediately with the veterinary team and large-mammal care specialists. Sadly, Zuberi died a short time later.
“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," said Hayley Murphy, vice president of Animal Divisions. "Zuberi showed no signs of injury, illness or distress in the moments prior to this event.”
The official cause of Zuberi's death will not be known until the conclusion of a necropsy performed by the University of Georgia's Zoo and Exotic Animal Pathology Service. That will be available in the coming weeks.
In their statement, Zoo Atlanta reports that all animal areas are checked for safety on a daily basis. The death is bringing them to thoroughly review the giraffe enclosures.
"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 statement read.
Zuberi was born Feb. 13, 2010, at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, S.C. He was moved to Zoo Atlanta in 2014.
“Zuberi was an important part of the giraffe herd and a special individual,” Murphy said. “We share the heartbreak of this event with the animal care professionals who knew him best and with our Veterinary Team, as well as our admiration for their outstanding commitment to Zuberi and to all the animals in our care.”