DALLAS -- The Dallas Zoo's famous baby giraffe Kipenzi, whose birth on Animal Planet Live captured hearts worldwide, died on Tuesday.
Zoo officials say Kipenzi ran into the perimeter edge of the habitat. Preliminary results indicate three broken vertebrae in her neck and that she died immediately, according to KDAF.
"This is a huge loss for our giraffe herd, our staff and our guests," said Gregg Hudson, president and CEO of the Dallas Zoo. "To be honest, it hurts terribly. We're crushed, and everyone here is mourning. Please keep our staff in your thoughts."
Kipenzi's mother, Katie, visited her before veterinarians and keepers removed her.
"Running is a typical behavior for giraffes of all ages, especially young ones like Kipenzi," said Harrison Edell, the zoo's senior director of living collections. "We've been very cautious with where we've allowed Kipenzi to roam. It's heartbreaking that this happened where it did despite our precautions."