Giraffe dies in freak accident at Kansas City Zoo, officials say

Credit: Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay

Credit: Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay

An adult male giraffe at the Kansas City Zoo died Wednesday after suffering "an acute spinal cord injury," the Kansas City Star reported Friday.

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Hamisi, a 9-year-old male, apparently got his head stuck in an area of a barn where zookeepers can gain access to the animals, the newspaper reported. The giraffe apparently panicked, causing the fatal injury, zoo officials told the Star.

"The entire zoo is heartbroken and grieving this loss," a zoo spokesman told WDAF.

Zoo officials said the barn where Hamisi suffered his injury was built in 1995 and has safely housed giraffes for 24 years, KMBC reported.

"It's hard to believe that something like this could happen after 24 years of having animals in that building," Sean Putney, senior director of zoo operations, told the Star. "We've never had an animal suffer an accident like this. ... He managed to get his head over the top of a wall and get it caught."

Zoo veterinarian Kirk Suedmeyer conducted a necropsy Wednesday and confirmed the giraffe’s spinal injury, the newspaper reported.

Zoo spokeswoman Kim Romary said Hamisi came to Kansas City from Disney's Animal Kingdom in 2016, the Star reported.