An investigation has started into how a cheetah died on Wednesday night after arriving at Wellington Zoo.
It was being transported from the Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch.
Wellington zoo said the cheetah, called Shomari, was unconscious when it got there and died despite staff working tirelessly to try to save it.
Another cheetah sent at the same time was in good health.
A Wellington Zoo spokesperson said all staff were deeply saddened.
Shomari was five-years-old and was part of the zoo's Cheetah Ambassador programme.
The animal was scheduled to be part of close encounter events for visitors.
Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch said it would leave no stone unturned to find out how the cheetah died. It said Shomari was hand-raised from birth and staff were devastated.