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Anxious Zoo Giraffe Dies In Shipping Crate

A 7-year-old giraffe has died after Taiwan's Taipei Zoo put him in a container to ship him to a zoo 57 miles away to breed.

While there were several possible causes for his death, many sources report that he died mainly of anxiety that caused his already-fragile body to fail.

Hsiao-chiu was confined to a shipping crate in which he couldn't stand up. This caused acute muscle injuries, according to an autopsy carried out by a group at the School of Veterinary Medicine at National Taiwan University. He also suffered from enlarged internal organs and pneumonia in his lung, which could have made it difficult for him to breathe.

This isn't the first time a zoo animal has perished in transit. Moving zoo animals can be very challenging and can put the animal's health at risk. Earlier this year in Mexico, a healthy gorilla died of a heart attack while being sedated to travel 340 miles to breed.

This also isn't the first time a giraffe at the Taipei Zoo has died. Last year, a baby giraffe passed away of malnutrition, after her mother couldn't feed her. People tried to nurse her to no avail.

"People have this idea that they go to a zoo and there is this individual zoo and here are the zoo's animals," Irus Braverman, professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School and author of "Zooland," told The Dodo last year. "But in fact, it is more like an ecosystem in a way, as artificial as it may be."

Despite the required breeding treks to keep that ecosystem genetically diverse, many animals do survive this ordeal. But Hsiao-chiu just wasn't strong enough to make the trip.