A giraffe calf whose April birth drew worldwide attention has died, according to officials with the Dallas Zoo.
Three-month-old Kipenzi broke her neck Tuesday night while she and the other giraffes were being herded inside for the night.
She was being playful as usual and ran into the perimeter edge of the habitat.
“She was out running around with her big brother in the yard. She was injured very badly and passed on very quickly thereafter,” said Harrison Edell, a senior director at the zoo.
The zoo said that afterward the baby giraffe's mother, Katie, was able to say goodbye before veterinarians removed her body.
- Parents of 43 Mexican missing students tell government: Our children aren’t animals
- Wild things: Mexico struggles to find new homes for outlawed circus animals
- Raven-Symone defends ex-Univision host Rodner Figueroa: ‘Some people look like animals’
- Turning Dead Animals into Mementos
- Unmanned Cameras Capture Rarely-Seen Animals Au Naturel
- Without Animals, Would People Still Go To The Circus?
“It’s never easy to lose an animal at the zoo, but it’s particularly difficult when it’s an unexpected death,” Edell said.
"To be honest, it hurts terribly. We're crushed, and everyone here is mourning. Please keep our staff in your thoughts,” added Gregg Hudson, CEO of the Dallas Zoo.
Thousands watched a livestream of Kipenzi's birth online. Fans even picked her name, Kipenzi, which means "loved one" in Swahili.
There are still 12 giraffes at the Dallas Zoo.