Giraffe dies in Chinese zoo after getting stuck between tree branches

The tragedy happened on April 16 when the male giraffe was playing outside at Kunming Zoo while trying to scratch an itch on the tree.
The tragedy happened on April 16 when the male giraffe was playing outside at Kunming Zoo while trying to scratch an itch on the tree.PHOTOS: YUNNAN.CN

KUNMING (XINHUA) - A giraffe in a zoo in Kunming, capital of south-west China's Yunnan province, died after getting its neck trapped between tree branches, local authorities said.

The tragedy happened on Monday (April 16) afternoon when the male giraffe, Hairong, was playing outside at Kunming Zoo while trying to scratch an itch on the tree, the zoo said.

Wang Ang, a veterinarian of the zoo, said that zoo workers immediately rushed to the site, where they found the giraffe had gotten stuck in a gap between branches.

Mr Wang said that they sawed the branches off. When Hairong was rescued, it collapsed on the ground and couldn't move its limbs, a sign of stress. It later died of heart and lung complications.

Among the four giraffes in the zoo, 10-year-old Hairong was the tallest. The animal had been living in the zoo for five years and often used the tree to scratch itself.

The zoo will check all animal habitats to prevent such tragedies from happening again, Mr Wang said.