DALLAS, Texas (KETK) – The Dallas Zoo has announced the death of 1-year-old giraffe Witten.
The zoo made the announcement in a Facebook post Monday, saying Witten “passed away this morning.”
Witten was undergoing a routine physical exam under anesthesia when he suddenly stopped breathing, according to the post.
Though veterinary experts immediately began emergency care, said the zoo, they were unable to save him.
“Our expert veterinary staff and giraffe zoologists have performed these physical exams many times in the past without incident, but for humans and animals alike, there is always a risk associated with anesthesia and some animals react differently,” zoo officials said in the Facebook post.
Witten captured all of our hearts with his outgoing, lovable personality and will be deeply missed. Hoofstock animals, like giraffe, are incredibly resilient and move on quickly, as they would in the wild. But we are keeping a close eye on our herd. As you can imagine, our zoologists are very close to the animals they care for and are heartbroken.Dallas Zoo
In another post Tuesday evening, the zoo thanked everyone for “your outpouring of love and support over the loss of our beloved giraffe Witten.”
The zoo said Witten was not ill before the examination and was due to be relocated to another zoo in Canada in September.
Zoo officials said they are conducting an internal investigation of the incident, including an animal autopsy.
“Our hearts are broken over this loss, and we ask that you continue to keep our Zoo family in your thoughts,” the post said.
The zoo has posted a Q&A page about Witten on its website, answering questions it has received about the giraffe’s passing. You can find it here.