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Macedonia loses star giraffe, more on the way

January 24, 2014

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Zoo officials in Macedonia’s capital are investigating the unexplained demise of their star captive, a young male giraffe named Orka that was particularly popular with visiting children.

Skopje Zoo officials told local media that Orka was found dead late Thursday and had displayed no earlier signs of illness or injury. The 3-and-a-half-year old giraffe arrived at the zoo in September 2012, the first in decades to be displayed in Skopje.

It quickly became the main attraction, featuring prominently in zoo promotion campaigns.

Orka was bought with a donation from a businessman who has arranged for another three giraffes to be shipped to the zoo later this year.

Zoo officials said Friday they should know why Orka died in about 10 days. Animal protection group Anima Mundi urged a full investigation.

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