An 11-year-old giraffe died of complications from a dental procedure it had at a New Jersey zoo, officials said.
Hodari, an 18-foot-tall Masai giraffe at Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, underwent surgery Wednesday afternoon to fix his teeth after exhibiting “strange behavior,” Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo said in a statement.
Doctors found that Hodari was having difficulty eating and decided to put the animal under anesthesia and operate.
“We believed this would give Hodari a better quality of life, improve his overall health and allow him to continue to thrive at Turtle Back Zoo,” said the zoo’s veterinarian Dr. Jon Bergmann. “We knew there were risks when putting an animal of Hodari’s size under anesthesia but we also knew repairing his teeth would be more beneficial to him.”
Hodari was anesthetized for his initial exam, and had no “negative effects,” but had complications the second time around, DiVincenzo said.