The Dallas Zoo has announced the death of a third giraffe and an investigation into what is behind the fatalities, which have all happened within a month.
The giraffe, Jesse, was taken ill on 27 October and died two days later, despite receiving “intense medical care and observation until his ultimate passing”, Dallas Zoo said on Facebook.
It said an investigation was trying to figure out if the death of Jesse was connected to that of Auggie, who died on 22 October from a similar liver issue.
According to the zoo, Jesse died after “blood test results showed abnormal liver enzymes, which immediately raised concerns over a possible connection to 19-year-old Auggie’s illness last week.”
“While we suspect the two deaths may be connected, we are still working towards definitive proof,” the zoo added.
Zookeepers were forced to euthanise a three-month old giraffe calf that was injured on 3 October, and before the deaths of the two teenage giraffes.
It was not thought that the death was connected to that of Jesse and Auggie, who were also found to have damaged livers following a necropsy.
Exposure to a toxin, an illness, and contamination through a food source are also being considered as causes for the liver damage and deaths of the giraffes.
The Dallas Zoo stressed that it had taken “preventative measures” to “isolate these tragic events and protect our other animals”.
“We still have intense work ahead of us to find a possible link between these two deaths and determine what may have led to this,” Dallas Zoo said. ” The lab results we depend on for diagnosis and confirmation simply cannot come fast enough – for us, and for you.”
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