WEST ORANGE, N.J. — An 18-foot tall Masai giraffe at New Jersey’s Turtle Back Zoo has died from complications during a medical procedure.
Hodari arrived at the zoo in Essex County from South Carolina in 2015, and was one of four giraffes that were part of the zoo’s African Adventure.
Officials say the 11-year-old died Wednesday under anesthesia while a veterinarian and dental specialist worked on the giraffe’s teeth to correct a problem that was making it difficult for Hodari to eat.
Dr. Jon Bergmann says they knew there were risks, but they believed the procedure would be beneficial.
The exact cause of death will be determined by a necropsy, the results of which are expected in about a month.