A zoo giraffe died as a result of literally being scared to death.
Hsiao Chiu, a 7-year-old male giraffe, died after being caged and loaded onto a truck at Taipei Zoo in Taiwan, reports the Daily Mail. The animal was reportedly being transported to a private zoo for the purpose of mating when it collapsed and died.
An autopsy was performed, which indicated the animal had pneumonia and anxiety, which caused it to have breathing difficulties during the attempted transport. His heart and lungs gave out before the vehicle that was transporting him even left the zoo.
“The zoo lost Hsiao Chiu in a painful accident,” said Taipei Zoo in a statement. The zoo noted the trip had already been postponed for a month in an attempt to familiarize the giraffe with the process, which obviously did not work.
The giraffe's death has raised the ire of animal rights activists, both locally and worldwide.
“This kind of negligence that leads to animal deaths should have been prevented, but it keeps happening,” said Chen Yu-min, director of the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the largest animal rights organization in the world, weighed in with the a statement:
Animals are not inanimate cargo. Keeping giraffes in captivity is harmful to them, as they can develop stress-induced ailments that can lead to a premature death. In the wild, giraffes have a life expectancy of about 25 years, but they rarely live that long in captivity. Even under the best of circumstances, captivity can never replicate their natural habitats in the wild. Zoos capitalize on animals who were born for natural, wide open spaces, not cages and other cramped enclosures. Zoos like to claim that breeding giraffes helps sustain the population, but many of these animals die as young adults. In addition, even if captive giraffes are fortunate enough to see adulthood, they’ll never live in the wild.