By Staff

DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — The Dallas Zoo’s tallest giraffe, Jesse, passed away Friday evening, a zoo official confirmed.

The 14-year-old giraffe’s death marks the Dallas Zoo’s third giraffe death this month.

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Jesse (Credit: Dallas Zoo)

The zoo said Jesse died Oct. 29 after a less-than-week-long battle with symptoms, and a quick deterioration, that “closely mirrored” Auggie — another giraffe that died just a week earlier.

Auggie (Credit: Dallas Zoo)

Auggie passed away last weekend after dealing with age-related health issues that led to liver failure, the zoo said. He was 19 years old.

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“While this immediately raised concerns over a possible connection, we still have intense work ahead of us to establish an exact cause or identify a possible link between the two deaths,” the official said. “We are working with outside experts to actively investigate a range of possible causes and working diligently to eliminate possibilities. We are awaiting final necropsy findings and significant additional lab work for both Jesse and Auggie to help us determine what we are dealing with so we know how to address the issue.”

Earlier this month, the zoo lost another giraffe. Three-month-old calf Marekani had to be euthanized after fracturing two bones in her leg.

Marekani (Credit: Dallas Zoo)

The zoo’s findings showed Marekani and a few of the adult giraffes were running along an inclined section of the habitat when one of her front legs planted in the ground at the top of the incline, causing her leg to hyperextend.

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“Our most immediate concern is to do everything possible to isolate these tragic events and protect the other animals entrusted in our care,” the zoo said. “We have put several preventative measures in place across our animal teams to help minimize possible risks from food sources and other environmental exposures.” Staff