A baby giraffe born at a Central California zoo last month has died after running into a fence in an exhibit. KFSN-TV reports that the male giraffe born Sept. 9 at the Chaffee Zoo died Sunday afternoon. It happened during a special preview event for the new African Adventure exhibit that is set to open on Thursday. A zoo spokeswoman says a necropsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death; she tells the Fresno Bee it appears to have been a result of a "physical accident."
Several attendees say they saw the giraffe lying on the ground for a few minutes before zoo officials came to help. "Guests were really upset," the spokeswoman says. "Our staff is devastated. ... Anytime this happens, it’s awful, but especially at such a happy time, that makes it so much worse." The giraffe weighed 188 pounds at birth and was the twelfth reticulated giraffe birth in the zoo's history. (Much happier giraffe story here.)