The mysterious death of a giraffe followed anaphylactic shock

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (AP) – A young giraffe named after a former Louisiana football star recently died after suffering anaphylactic shock, experts from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine said on Wednesday to shed light on this mysterious death.

The 20-month-old giraffe named Burreaux – after Cincinnati Bengals quarterback and former LSU star Joe Burrow – died Sept. 7 at the Baton Rouge Zoo. The zoo said Burreaux fell ill with a sudden onset of symptoms, including a severe cough and general restlessness.

The death has raised concerns about the possible vulnerabilities of some zoo animals to the coronavirus. But the school has performed tests to rule out potential causes of death, including COVID-19, The Advocate reported. The pathologist also found that Burreaux was “in excellent nutritional and muscular condition and there is no evidence of mismanagement or neglect”.

Zoo veterinarian Michael Warsaw said the exact cause of the anaphylactic shock remains a mystery that may never be resolved, The Advocate reported.


“Just like a person can have a fatal reaction to something, sometimes you will never know. There’s really no way of knowing what triggered it, ”Warsaw said after the autopsy report was released.

Anaphylactic shock can be triggered by allergies or insects, according to health officials. In humans, this can be one of the potential fatal consequences of food allergies, and that is why some people who suffer from such allergies often carry self-injected doses of epinephrine which can counteract an allergic reaction.

Warsaw said it consulted many vets about the report’s findings and found that none had ever seen anaphylactic shock diagnosed in a giraffe. The condition, however, has occurred in cats and dogs, he said.

Warsaw added that it would seek to have information about the giraffe’s death published in scientific journals for the benefit of other institutions and “be on their minds as a possibility.”

Burreaux had not received recent vaccines and had not received any medication before falling ill, according to Warsaw, thus ruling these out as a possible cause.


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