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Cincinnati Zoo's Giraffe 'Kimba' Dies

kimba giraffe
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden says its 12-year-old male giraffe 'Kimba' has died following a recent surgical procedure. Officials say he developed complications after undergoing a successful procedure last week to fix his hooves. 

Kimba died early Sunday. Curator Christina Gorsuch tells the Associated Press Kimba had been dealing with pain related to chronic lameness since last summer and officials had hoped the surgical procedure would help. She says they should know more about the cause of death after a necropsy.

His care team is "devastated" over the loss.

"We're so sad to have to announce that our beloved male giraffe Kimba passed away early (Sunday) morning," the zoo wrote on its Facebook page. "The Zoo Volunteer Observer (ZVO) team has been monitoring the giraffe barn for weeks, watching female Cece for signs of labor, and called vets when they saw Kimba fall to the ground a little after 1 a.m. ... Please keep Kimba's care team in your thoughts. They are devastated."

Kimba came to the zoo in 2008 from the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island. Kimba has sired six offspring. His seventh is due any day.

Jennifer Merritt brings 20 years of "tra-digital" journalism experience to WVXU.