Zoo Investigates Sudden Zebra Deaths

SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 29 (UPI) — The Hogle Zoo in Utah is trying to determine what killed both its zebras this week, officials there say.

Nancy Carpenter, director of animal health at the zoo in Salt Lake City, said Taji, a 15-year-old Grevy’s zebra, and Monty, who was 13, had signs of inflammation in their hearts and intestines. But she said veterinarians who did necropsies on both animals found no indication of what caused their deaths.

Taji was found dead Tuesday, and Monty was put down the next day.

One possibility is the zebras were exposed to a toxic substance. Carpenter said testing for toxins in their systems will take some time.

Last year, four zebras died at the Vancouver Zoo in Canada after cape buffalo were brought in to their exhibit. Keepers there believe the introduction of the buffalo fatally stressed the zebras, a reaction they did not anticipate since the two species live together in the wild.

But Carpenter said that was not a factor at the Hogle Zoo.

“There really have been no changes,” she said. “Everything has been normal. The zebras had been a real steady group here for many years.”

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