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Mona the Giraffe Died from Internal Bleeding

It is believed she fell.

GRANT PARK — Staff from Zoo Atlanta and the University of Georgia Zoo and Exotic Animal Pathology Service in the College of Veterinary Medicine conducted a necropsy on Mona, a 7-year-old adult female giraffe who died suddenly on Jan. 2, 2013.

Preliminary findings from the necropsy indicate that Mona died from internal bleeding.

The giraffe otherwise appeared in excellent health, and Zoo animal care staff had not observed any outward signs of illness, injury or changes in Mona’s behavior prior to her death. The University of Georgia Zoo and Exotic Animal Pathology Service will conduct routing histopathological tests over the next eight to 10 weeks to determine if there were any underlying health concerns.

Although nothing unusual was witnessed by staff, we are speculating that Mona fell, and this somehow led to the internal bleeding. The absence of obvious underlying conditions and the nature of the hemorrhage are consistent with this type of injury.

The Zoo’s three other giraffe, male Abu, 7, Glenda, 6, and Mona’s daughter Lily, 1, continue to adjust to the unexpected loss of a member of their herd. Updates will be shared as details are available.

— Hayley Murphy, doctor of veternary medicine, Director of Veterinary Services at Zoo Atlanta.

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