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Reid Park zebra dies in accident
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Reid Park zebra dies in accident

  • Ajani the zebra.
    Reid Park ZooAjani the zebra.
  • Ajani was born at Reid Park Zoo on August 31, 2012. This photo was taken on September 19, 2012.
    Courtesy of Stacy FortsonAjani was born at Reid Park Zoo on August 31, 2012. This photo was taken on September 19, 2012.
  • This photo was taken at Reid Park Zoo on September 19, 2012.
    Courtesy Stacy FortsonThis photo was taken at Reid Park Zoo on September 19, 2012.
  • This photo was taken at Reid Park Zoo on September 19, 2012.
    Courtesy Stacy FortsonThis photo was taken at Reid Park Zoo on September 19, 2012.

Ajani, a one year and seven month old male Grevy's zebra, died in an "tragic accident" Monday morning at the Reid Park Zoo, officials said.

The zebra died when he ran into the side of an enclosure and fractured his neck, said a zoo spokeswoman. Ajani was startled by another zebra in an adjacent area, after being separated from the herd for vaccinations, which were scheduled to take place during veterinary rounds.

Vaccinations have been given to zebras at the same location in the past without any problems, said Vivian VanPeenen. Zoo staffers prefer to administer medications in as controlled an environment as possible in case a rare reaction should occur, she said.

Zookeepers witnessed the accident, which took place out of public view, and the veterinary team immediately attempted to revive Ajani by performing CPR, VanPeenen said.

An X-ray showed that the zebra could not have survived the trauma to the vertebrae in his neck, although a full post-mortem exam has yet to be completed, she said.

Zoo Curator Jim Schnormeier said the incident was "a tragic accident."

“From the foal’s exciting arrival on exhibit, to the health challenges he experienced following his birth, it is clear that this animal received the best care possible," he said in the news release.

The zoo's other zebras, who did not witness the accident, will remain on exhibit, VanPeenen said.

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