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'Tragic accident' blamed for recent death of giraffe at Calgary Zoo

The Calgary Zoo says a "tragic accident" led to the recent death of one of its adult Masai giraffes.

A statement from the zoo says a female giraffe named Emara died May 19 after tangling one of her horns in a cable surrounding her enclosure.

The statement says a necropsy revealed Emara fell against the enclosure fence and died almost instantly of a broken neck.

<who>Photo Credit: Canadian Press

Emara, who had just turned 12, came to Calgary from the San Diego Zoo in 2016.

The statement says she was a treasured member at the zoo and was known for her cautious yet curious personality and gentle nature.

The zoo says it is checking fencing within its African Savannah Yard enclosure to see if changes are needed to better protect the other giraffes and animals that share the space.

Doug Whiteside, interim associate director of animal care and welfare at the zoo, said Emara was in her prime and was in excellent health when she died.

"Major life changes such as this not only affect our people but can affect our animal residents as well," Whiteside said in the statement Monday.

He said the zoo’s remaining giraffes, Nabo and Moshi, are doing well.

Grief counsellors are being made available to Emara’s caregivers and other zoo staff.



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