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Young giraffe dies in freak accident at Zoo Miami

1-year-old giraffe named Wesley dies after lodging himself between 2 posts

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(Zoo Miami)

MIAMI – A young male giraffe that was born at Zoo Miami last May has died following a freak accident at the park, Zoo Miami spokesman Ron Magill announced Wednesday.

Magill said the giraffe named Wesley had to be euthanized Tuesday after he lodged his head between two posts, panicked and cause an apparent spinal injury.

According to Magill, the injury prevented Wesley from being able to stand and maintain his equilibrium.

"The incident occurred during a procedure with another giraffe, when Wesley went out on exhibit without incident and then returned to the holding area, apparently trying to observe what was happening with the giraffe being examined," Magill said. "He was able to squeeze his head between two posts that were separating the exhibit from the holding area, and when he lowered his neck, his head became lodged."

Magill said staff were able to dislodge Wesley within a few minutes, but it was too late to prevent the serious injury.

A veterinary team worked on Wesley for several hours after the incident. However they decided to euthanize him because his condition was worsening rapidly.

Wesley was the 48th giraffe born at Zoo Miami.

Magill said this is the first accident of its kind at the zoo. He said staff is making immediate modifications to the area by closing any gaps that an animal could lodge itself in to prevent another accident like this from happening.


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