A female giraffe at Wellington Zoo has died.

Tisa had a health check and hoof trim under general anaesthetic on Thursday last week, but deteriorated quickly because of age-related complications and died yesterday.

The zoo's general manager of animal care and science Mauritz Basson said Tisa stopped eating and drinking and had emergency surgery on Tuesday.

"Despite our best efforts to save her life, Tisa did not recover from the anaesthetic Tuesday night and she passed away just before 1am on Wednesday," he said.

Tisa came to Wellington Zoo from Melbourne in May 1991, and was part of an international conservation breeding programme.

She had five offspring with her partner Ricky, including Zahara, who still lives at the zoo.

Herbivore keeper April Turnbull said Tisa was a much-loved animal.

Turnbull looked after Tisa for the past three years and said she had a gentle character and touched everyone who met her.

"Most mornings when I would walk up to the African savannah Tisa would stick her head over the barrier and rest her head on my shoulder," she said.

Tisa's death comes just weeks after the zoo farewelled Beni the chimpanzee, who died on February 3 after sustaining a leg injury.