The giraffe was loose in the town of Imola for several hours after it escaped Friday, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.
Police cornered the more than 2,000-pound animal in a fenced parking lot of a grocery store and shot it with two tranquilizers.
The giraffe died from cardiac arrest shortly after being returned to the Rinaldo Orfei Circus.
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UPI Almanac for Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014