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Baby giraffe dies in ‘freak accident’ at Florida zoo

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — Federal officials say the ZooWorld barn where a young giraffe was staying contributed to his death.

The 5-month-old giraffe named Eliott was euthanized in April after injuring his spinal cord.

The News Herald of Panama City reports U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors say the giraffe got stuck in an open space between horizontal slats just above the barn door. Elliot injured his spinal cord while struggling to get loose.

ZooWorld Assistant Director Tom Walling calls it a “freak accident.” He says the gaps between the slats have been repaired since the incident. He says USDA agents inspected the zoo shortly before the incident and didn’t mention that the gaps might cause a problem.

Walling says the zoo staff is broken hearted over Elliot’s death.


Information from: The (Panama City, Fla.) News Herald,

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