Necropsy To Be Conducted On Dallas Zoo Giraffe ‘Witten’ That Died Under Anesthesia During Physical Exam

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Zoo shared tragic news about a giraffe that just turned 1-year-old in April.

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Witten, the giraffe named after Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, died Monday morning during a physical exam while under anesthesia.

The Dallas Zoo tweeted Monday evening, “We are devastated to share that our one-year-old giraffe Witten passed away this morning. He was receiving a routine physical exam under anesthesia when he suddenly stopped breathing. An urgent attempt was made to resuscitate him, without success.”

The zoo went on to say, “Witten captured all of our hearts with his outgoing, lovable personality and will be deeply missed. Hoofstock animals, like giraffe, are incredibly resilient and move on quickly, as they would in the wild. But we are keeping a close eye on our herd. Our expert veterinary staff and giraffe zoologists have performed these physical exams many times in the past without incident, but for humans and animals alike, there is always a risk associated with anesthesia and some animals react differently.”

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The zoo added, “As you can imagine, our zoologists are very close to the animals they care for and are heartbroken.”

Witten came into the world on April 25, 2018 at 5-foot-9 and 130 pounds after a “long two-and-a-half hour delivery.”

The giraffe was named after Jason Witten as the Cowboys legendary tight end retired days before the animal’s birth.

Witten the football player has since returned to the Cowboys.

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In July 2015, Kipenzi the giraffe died at the Dallas Zoo after running into the side of her enclosure, breaking her neck.