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Dallas Zoo says young giraffe named after Jason Witten has suddenly died

Witten at Dallas Zoo
Posted at 6:54 AM, Jun 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-18 07:54:07-04

DALLAS, TX — A 1-year-old giraffe at the Dallas Zoo suddenly died Monday during a routine physical exam, the zoo said.

Witten the giraffe, named for Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, was under anesthesia during the exam when he suddenly stopped breathing.

The Dallas Zoo said its veterinary staff and giraffe zoologists have performed these exams many times without a problem in the past.

Many attempts to resuscitate Witten were made, but unfortunately zoo staff was unsuccessful.

"Witten captured all of our hearts with his outgoing, lovable personality and will be deeply missed. Hoofstock animals, like giraffe, are incredibly resilient and move on quickly, as they would in the wild," the Dallas Zoo said on its Facebook page. "But we are keeping a close eye on our herd. As you can imagine, our zoologists are very close to the animals they care for and are heartbroken."

Witten was born in April 2018 to mother Chrystal. Witten was Chrystal's second calf.