A 14-year-old male giraffe died Thursday during surgery at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, according to multiple reports.
The giraffe, Azog, had been born at the N.C. Zoo and lived his entire life there.
According to reports from the N.C. Zoo Society and WRAL-TV in Raleigh, veterinarians decided to operate on Azog after he began experiencing complications from a urinary tract stone. Vets say such stones are a common problem in male giraffes.
Surgery began about noon, but the giraffe died about 2:30 p.m.
“This is a species that is extremely susceptible to problems under anesthesia,” the zoo's chief veterinarian, Dr. Mike Loomis, told WRAL.
According to records, the North Carolina Zoo has one other adult giraffe on exhibit – Julie, a 32-year-old female who is among the oldest giraffes at a zoo in the United States. Two 10-month-old giraffes are scheduled to arrive at the Asheboro zoo on Sept. 6. They were acquired before Azog began experiencing medical problems, according to zoo officials.