Lizzy, a giraffe whose birth was celebrated at Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines in early December of 2016, has died unexpectedly.

According to a post on the Blank Park Zoo Facebook page,

Lizzy was a smaller giraffe and she had not grown at pace of a typical giraffe for her age. She recently had contracted a minor gastrointestinal illness that may have played a role. The final necropsy results are pending.

The initial results of the autopsy on Lizzy show that she may have been born with "internal abnormalities." Her mother, Uzuri, gave birth to Lizzy when she was 19. Giraffes in captivity can live up to 40 years. Unfortunately, Lizzy is her second calf to die. A baby she gave birth to in 2001, died shortly after.

There have been a total of 11 giraffes born at the Blank Park Zoo since they first opened a giraffe exhibit in the mid-1980's.

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