Zoo Atlanta saddened by giraffe's tragic death

A 7-year-old giraffe at Zoo Atlanta has unexpectedly passed away. 

The zoo announced the heartbreaking news about "Zuberi" early Tuesday afternoon, saying the adult male reticulated giraffe died unexpectedly on Monday. He was in the zoo's behind-the-scenes giraffe complex when a portion of his neck somehow became wedged in with a small space in a metal railing. 

"The Animal Care Team responded immediately, with the Veterinary Team and large-mammal animal care specialists on the scene, but Zuberi died very shortly thereafter," the zoo in a statement released on Tuesday. 

The official cause of death won't be known until after a necropsy, the animal equivalent of an autopsy, is completed. 

“The Zoo Atlanta family, and especially those animal care team members who are with the giraffes daily, are deeply shocked and saddened by this tragic and unexpected loss. Zuberi showed no signs of injury, illness or distress in the moments prior to this event,” said Hayley Murphy, DVM, Vice President of Animal Divisions. “Our Animal Care and Veterinary Teams responded to the emergency right away, but despite their immediate and heroic efforts, were not able to save Zuberi.”