Officials are investigating after a second giraffe died at a Vancouver-area zoo in just under a week.

Eleah, a 23-year-old giraffe, was dead in a heating barn at the Greater Vancouver Zoo on Saturday.


Another newborn giraffe born at the Greater Vancouver Zoo in 2009 is fed by staff after its mother refused to nurse it. (Greater Vancouver Zoo)

Spokesperson Susan La Fresnaye said an necropsy will be conducted on Monday to determine the cause of death.

"The laboratory is closed until ... Monday morning, so our veterinarian did come, he did a preliminary post-mortem but unfortunately it's not enough to be able to determine the cause of death," she said.

Eleah's death comes less than a week after the death of her son, a three-year-old giraffe named Amryn.

Amryn, born in December 2007, was found on the ground inside his barn on Nov. 14. He was treated aggressively, officials said, but died shortly after.

Amryn's father Jafari is the only remaining giraffe at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.

The zoo is located in the community of Aldergrove, about 50 kilometres east of Vancouver.

The zoo has faced criticism following problems with its animals in the past.

In April 2009, four zebras at the zoo died.

A baby female giraffe born at the zoo in June 2006 died after eight days.

In August 2003, a 4,100-kilogram elephant, Tina, developed health problems while being housed at the zoo. She was transferred to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee for better treatment but died in July 2004.

The same year, two hippopotamuses, Gertrude and Harvey, at the Greater Vancouver Zoo died at age 20 — half their life expectancy.