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2 giraffes die at Tulsa Zoo in 2 months

Jan. 12, 2010 at 7:54 PM

TULSA, Okla., Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Federal officials said they would investigate the demise of a female giraffe in an Oklahoma zoo, its second recent giraffe death.

Amira, a 9-year-old giraffe who arrived at the Tulsa Zoo in October, died Sunday after what zoo officials called "aggressive measures" to save her, the Tulsa World reported Tuesday.

It is possible a cold snap that hit the area caused Amira to suffer hypothermia, despite zoo workers' efforts to raise her blood temperature, the newspaper said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will investigate the death to determine if there were any violations of the Animal Welfare Act, and if any such violations contributed to Amira's death.

Amira's death is the second giraffe loss in two months. Amali, 5, a female, died during a Dec. 3 surgery for a neck injury. Both females giraffes were brought to Tulsa to mate with the zoo's only remaining giraffe, Samburu, 17.

"We're just devastated. No one feels the loss more than our staff. It is heart-breaking," said zoo Director Terrie Correll.

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