An 11-year-old giraffe has sadly passed away after complications from surgery to repair his teeth.

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Hodari, an 18-foot-tall Masai giraffe from Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, N.J., underwent the surgery Wednesday to fix his teeth.

He had previously been exhibiting “strange behavior,” Essex County representative Joseph DiVicenzo said in a statement, and was found to have trouble eating.

“We believed this would give Hodari a better quality of life, improve his overall health and allow him to continue to thrive at Turtle Back Zoo,” said the zoo’s veterinarian Dr. Jon Bergmann. “We knew there were risks when putting an animal of Hodari’s size under anesthesia but we also knew repairing his teeth would be more beneficial to him.”

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A necropsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death with results expected to take a month. Hodari was born at the San Diego Zoo, and was one of four Masai giraffes that came to Turtle Back in December 2015.

Anna Caplan contributes to Rare Houston and Rare Animals. 
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