Giraffe dies after tragic accident at North Carolina Zoo

Posted at 9:44 AM, Mar 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-08 10:05:46-05

ASHEBORO, N.C. — North Carolina Zoo officials found one of their giraffes dead inside its habitat after a tragic accident Tuesday morning, according to a zoo news release.

Nine-year-old Jamili died after she accidentally became entangled in a “mental and physical engagement item” used with the giraffe herd.

The item has been used for many years with the herd without incident.

Jamili, a reticulated giraffe, was born May 30, 2008, at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She came to the North Carolina Zoo in March 2009.

“The North Carolina Zoo takes special pride in the care we provide to our animals, and the expansive natural habitat and other services that enrich their lives,” the release said. “We are reviewing all of our animal safety policies and procedures — including the enrichment items that the animals use in their behind-the-scenes living quarters — to ensure the safety of all our animals.”

Jamili gave birth to one female calf, Juma, in July 2012. Juma is now at the Maryland Zoo and last month had a calf of her own.

Animal Adventure Park, where April the giraffe is preparing to give birth to a calf, offered its condolences to the North Carolina Zoo Wednesday morning.

“We send our sincere condolences to the keepers of The North Carolina Zoo,” the zoo said in its Tuesday morning Facebook post.

“The loss of any animal in one’s care is heart breaking. Jamili, like all other giraffes, holds a curious nature, and short attention span. Accidents can and do happen. Tragedies can and do strike, and this is certainly an unexpected tragedy.”

Learn more about the North Carolina Zoo here.