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Young giraffe dies at a Pennsylvania zoo

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Posted at 5:05 PM, May 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-29 19:05:38-04

A young giraffe died Sunday afternoon at the Lehigh Valley Zoo in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania after the 6-year-old giraffe showed aggressive behavior. 

According to WPVI-TV, Ernie, a Masai giraffe, was transported to the zoo late last week after an 18-hour trip from the Kansas City Zoo in Missouri. Ernie, along with his 16-year-old father Murphy, were transported to the zoo as part of a multi-million dollar expansion to the zoo. 

Even though Murphy was showing affection for Ernie, the young giraffe exhibited aggressive behavior toward his father. The two giraffes had to be separated due to Ernie's aggression. 

By Sunday morning, two days after Ernie arrived at the zoo, his neck was slumped. Hours later, Ernie passed away at the zoo. 

The zoo is investigating Ernie's cause of death, according to WPVI. 

"On behalf of all the staff here at the Zoo, words cannot convey the depth of our sadness over the loss of Ernie," Zoo CEO Melissa Borland said in a statement. "However we realize it is not just our loss, but our community's loss as well. Today we entered the zoo to see this. Thank you for supporting us through this difficult time. We will have more information to share as soon as it is available."