The Cincinnati Zoo lost one of their special animal friends Sunday.
Twelve-year-old Kimba the giraffe died after complications from a procedure to fix his hooves, the zoo said.
“Zoo staff, and especially the giraffe care team, are devastated,” Michelle Curley, spokeswoman for the Cincinnati Zoo, told CNN.
The Zoo Volunteer Observer (ZVO) team was monitoring the giraffe barn when they saw Kimba fall to the ground after 1 a.m. Sunday.
Kimba was dealing with mobility issues when he was given a hoof trim Tuesday.
“Kimba began intermittent bouts of lameness last summer, which we’ve been managing with laser therapy and medications that mitigate symptoms,” said Cincinnati Zoo’s curator of mammals Christina Gorsuch in a news release.
While the procedure was successful, there were later complications.
Kimba, the zoo’s only male giraffe, stood over 16 feet tall and was the father of six other giraffes, with a seventh on the way.
The giraffe came to the Cincinnati Zoo in 2018 from the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island, where one his calves lives now.
According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the average life expectancy for male giraffes is 13.4 years.
By Alaa Elassar, CNN