Accident kills giraffe at Ill. zoo

January 21, 2008

Dusti, an 11-year-old male giraffe, was found dead at the Brookfield Zoo outside Chicago, after his neck got caught in a rope.

The reticulated giraffe was alive at his 4:30 a.m. check Saturday, but at 7 a.m. he was found dead, his neck at a 90 degree angle to his body, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Sunday.

The rope was part of a pulley system sometimes used to feed the animals that was kept between enclosures, the newspaper said. Zoo officials said they did not realize Dusti's neck could reach the rope.

Grief counseling was provided to Dusti's keepers, and the four female giraffes kept nearby were not themselves, the newspaper said.

The giraffe, whose natural habitat would be Kenya, was raised at Busch Gardens in Florida and brought to the zoo for breeding -- which he did, successfully producing three offspring during his 10 years at Brookfield.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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