Giraffe dies at China zoo after getting stuck in dead tree
A giraffe’s death at a Southwest China zoo following a lengthy rescue effort has since prompted accusations online of negligence.
Kunming Zoo’s 10-year-old giraffe, Hairong, was scratching his neck against a tree Monday afternoon when it became tragically wedged between the branches, local media Yunnan.cn reported.
Hairong began to panic and then lost his footing, causing him to hang downward.
Veterinarians attended to the giraffe as employees took up chainsaws to cut the branches in what was a five-hour ordeal, Kankan News reported.
Hairong was pronounced dead around 6 pm. Local media outlet Yunnan.cn reported a broken neck and insufficient blood flow to the brain as the cause of death.
Wang An, a veterinarian at the zoo, said it was his panicked reaction that ultimately led to Hairong’s demise.
“An autopsy has shown that the giraffe died because of its reaction, not asphyxiation,” said Wang.
The tree had died years ago and steps were never taken to deal with it, he added.
Hairong had lived at the zoo for five years, where employees remember him as “exuberant.”
The zoo’s explanation, however, did little to appease Sina Weibo users, with many accusing the zoo of botching the rescue.
“The zoo is not professional in the least,” commented “putifahai.” “Why didn’t they prop up the giraffe before cutting the branches? That fatal fall could have been avoided.”
“It was gross misconduct,” commented Weibo user “shunshunwhsp.”
Hairong the giraffe lies dead at Kunming Zoo in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province from serious injuries suffered Sunday after his neck became stuck between two tree branches in his habitat.