Dallas Zoo's baby giraffe dies in habitat accident

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 28, 2015 11:18 PM

By Lisa Maria Garza

DALLAS (Reuters) - A baby giraffe whose April birth at Dallas Zoo was watched live by more than two million people worldwide died on Tuesday in an accident at park, the zoo said.

As the giraffe herd was shifting inside for the night, Kipenzi made a sharp turn, ran into the edge of the habitat perimeter and broke three vertebra in her neck, the zoo said in a statement.

The giraffe died immediately, it said.

"While she was only here for a few months, Kipenzi was a beacon of light for her species and for the millions who watched her birth live on Animal Planet," the zoo said.

After the giraffe's birth, the zoo held a naming contest that settled on Kipenzi, which translates to "loved one" in Swahili.

Her mother, Katie, visited the calf before veterinarians removed her body from the habitat.

Kipenzi's birth, broadcast live by Animal Planet on television and the internet, brought attention to the plight of wild giraffes in Africa and helped raise more than $35,000 for giraffe conservation, the zoo said.

(Editing by Victoria Cavaliere)