Fla. zoo: Giraffe dies after vomiting heavily

GULF BREEZE, Fla. (AP) - A male giraffe at The Zoo of Northwest Florida died over the weekend after a bout of heavy vomiting.

A zoo staffer heard loud noises coming from the giraffe barn on Sunday afternoon and found 13-year-old Colby lying down and trying to get up. The zoo veterinarian tried to treat the animal but Colby died after inhaling vomit into his lungs.

A preliminary necropsy showed Colby had significant lung damage from prior episodes of pneumonia, as well as severe arthritis in his hips, which would have make it hard for him to lift his own weight and stand up.

Colby was at the Panhandle facility on breeding loan from the Lowery Park Zoo in Tampa.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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