Zoo Atlanta giraffe dies unexpectedly

Zoo Atlanta officials say they don’t know what caused the death Wednesday of a 7-year-old female giraffe.

Mona was in an outdoor corral when she collapsed, Zoo Atlanta spokeswoman Keisha Hines said. The giraffes were not on exhibit due to wet conditions.

“This is a tragic loss for the Zoo Atlanta family – especially so because it was extremely sudden,” Zoo Atlanta deputy director Dwight Lawson said. “Mona had shown no signs of illness or distress prior to her abrupt collapse.”

A necropsy was scheduled for Thursday at the University of Georgia’s Zoo and Exotic Animal Pathology Service in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Hines said. Zoo Atlanta was still awaiting the results as of late Thursday afternoon.

Mona and her half-sister Glenda, 6, arrived at the zoo in October 2007. Mona gave birth to Lily in July 2011.